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Ca²⁺-independent effects of spermine on pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity in energized rat liver mitochondria incubated in the absence of exogenous Ca²⁺ and Mg² ⁺

Pezzato, E., Battaglia, V., Brunati, A. M., Agostinelli, E., Toninello, A.
Amino acids 2009 v.36 no.3 pp. 449-456
calcium, dephosphorylation, dose response, ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid, isozymes, liver, magnesium, mitochondria, phosphorylation, pyruvate dehydrogenase (acetyl-transferring) kinase, pyruvate dehydrogenase (lipoamide), rats, spermine
In the absence of exogenous Ca²⁺ and Mg²⁺ and in the presence of EGTA, which favours the release of endogenous Ca²⁺, the polyamine spermine is able to stimulate the activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) of energized rat liver mitochondria (RLM). This stimulation exhibits a gradual concentration-dependent trend, which is maximum, about 140%, at 0.5 mM concentration, after 30 min of incubation. At concentrations higher than 0.5 mM, spermine still stimulates PDC, when compared with the control, but shows a slight dose-dependent decrease. Changes in PDC stimulation are very close to the phosphorylation level of the E₁α subunit of PDC, which regulates the activity of the complex, but it is also the target of spermine. In other words, progressive dephosphorylation gradually enhances the stimulation of RLM and progressive phosphorylation slightly decreases it. These results provide the first evidence that, when transported in RLM, spermine can interact in various ways with PDC, showing dose-dependent behaviour. The interaction most probably takes place directly on a specific site for spermine on one of the regulatory enzymes of PDC, i.e. pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase (PDP). The interaction of spermine with PDC may also involve activation of another regulatory enzyme, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK), resulting in an increase in E₁α phosphorylation and consequently reduced stimulation of PDC at high polyamine concentrations. The different effects of spermine in RLM are discussed, considering the different activities of PDP and PDK isoenzymes. It is suggested that the polyamine at low concentrations stimulates the isoenzyme PDP₂ and at high concentrations it stimulates PDK₂.