The pathways of adenine nucleotide catabolism were investigated in cultured beating cardiomyocytes. The activity of the enzymes involved in AMP degradation was assayed in cell extracts. Fluxes of label from ATP to the various purine derivatives were measured in intact cells. Under physiological conditions, cells degraded AMP through deamination to IMP. IMP was rapidly degraded to inosine, hypoxanthine, xanthine and uric acid, which were effluxed from the cells. This is in accord with the fact that the activity of AMP deaminase (EC 188.8.131.52) was 7-fold that of AMP 5′-Nucleotidase (EC 184.108.40.206). Mild ATP-degradation, induced by inhibition of glycolysis by iodoacetate, caused no alterations in the degradation pathways (more than 85% through deamination to IMP). However, fast ATP-degradation (83% of adenine nucleotides/10 min), induced by simultaneous inhibition of glycolysis and electron transport (by antimycin A), caused increased dephosphorylation of AMP to adenosine (50% of total AMP-degradation). The cardiomyocyte extracts were found to contain a significant activity of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (EC 220.127.116.11). Despite the presence of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (EC 18.104.22.168), salvage of hypoxanthine to IMP, both at physiological as well as at conditions associated with ATP degradation, was slow. The salvage of adenosine appeared to be efficient at physiological conditions, but not at fast rates of ATP degradation.
- Adenosine deaminase
- Adenosine kinase
- Adenylate Deaminase
- Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase
- Purine metabolism