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      A weak link in metabolism: the metabolic capacity for glycine biosynthesis does not satisfy the need for collagen synthesis

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          Abstract

          In a previous paper, we pointed out that the capability to synthesize glycine from serine is constrained by the stoichiometry of the glycine hydroxymethyltransferase reaction, which limits the amount of glycine produced to be no more than equimolar with the amount of C 1 units produced. This constraint predicts a shortage of available glycine if there are no adequate compensating processes. Here, we test this prediction by comparing all reported fl uxes for the production and consumption of glycine in a human adult. Detailed assessment of all possible sources of glycine shows that synthesis from serine accounts for more than 85% of the total, and that the amount of glycine available from synthesis, about 3 g/day, together with that available from the diet, in the range 1.5-3.0 g/day, may fall significantly short of the amount needed for all metabolic uses, including collagen synthesis by about 10 g per day for a 70 kg human. This result supports earlier suggestions in the literature that glycine is a semi-essential amino acid and that it should be taken as a nutritional supplement to guarantee a healthy metabolism.

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          Most cited references 86

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          Matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors in connective tissue remodeling.

           J. Woessner (1991)
          Matrix metalloproteinases are an important group of zinc enzymes responsible for degradation of the extracellular matrix components such as collagen and proteoglycans in normal embryogenesis and remodeling and in many disease processes such as arthritis, cancer, periodontitis, and osteoporosis. A matrixin family is defined, comprising at least seven members that range in size from Mr 28,000 to 92,000 and are related in gene sequence to collagenase. All family members are secreted as zymogens that lose peptides of about 10,000 daltons upon activation. Latency is due to a conserved cysteine that binds to zinc at the active center. Latency is overcome by physical (chaotropic agents), chemical (HOCl, mercurials), and enzymatic (trypsin, plasmin) treatments that separate the cysteine residue from the zinc. Expression of the metalloproteinases is switched on by a variety of agents acting through regulatory elements of the gene, particularly the AP-1 binding site. A family of protein inhibitors of Mr 28,500 or less binds strongly and stoichiometrically in noncovalent fashion to inhibit members of the family. The serum protein alpha 2-macroglobulin and relatives are also strongly inhibitory.
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            Collagen fibril formation.

            Collagen is most abundant in animal tissues as very long fibrils with a characteristic axial periodic structure. The fibrils provide the major biomechanical scaffold for cell attachment and anchorage of macromolecules, allowing the shape and form of tissues to be defined and maintained. How the fibrils are formed from their monomeric precursors is the primary concern of this review. Collagen fibril formation is basically a self-assembly process (i.e. one which is to a large extent determined by the intrinsic properties of the collagen molecules themselves) but it is also sensitive to cell-mediated regulation, particularly in young or healing tissues. Recent attention has been focused on "early fibrils' or "fibril segments' of approximately 10 microns in length which appear to be intermediates in the formation of mature fibrils that can grow to be hundreds of micrometers in length. Data from several laboratories indicate that these early fibrils can be unipolar (with all molecules pointing in the same direction) or bipolar (in which the orientation of collagen molecules reverses at a single location along the fibril). The occurrence of such early fibrils has major implications for tissue morphogenesis and repair. In this article we review the current understanding of the origin of unipolar and bipolar fibrils, and how mature fibrils are assembled from early fibrils. We include preliminary evidence from invertebrates which suggests that the principles for bipolar fibril assembly were established at least 500 million years ago.
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              Coordinated collagen and muscle protein synthesis in human patella tendon and quadriceps muscle after exercise.

              We hypothesized that an acute bout of strenuous, non-damaging exercise would increase rates of protein synthesis of collagen in tendon and skeletal muscle but these would be less than those of muscle myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins. Two groups (n = 8 and 6) of healthy young men were studied over 72 h after 1 h of one-legged kicking exercise at 67% of maximum workload (W(max)). To label tissue proteins in muscle and tendon primed, constant infusions of [1-(13)C]leucine or [1-(13)C]valine and flooding doses of [(15)N] or [(13)C]proline were given intravenously, with estimation of labelling in target proteins by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Patellar tendon and quadriceps biopsies were taken in exercised and rested legs at 6, 24, 42 or 48 and 72 h after exercise. The fractional synthetic rates of all proteins were elevated at 6 h and rose rapidly to peak at 24 h post exercise (tendon collagen (0.077% h(-1)), muscle collagen (0.054% h(-1)), myofibrillar protein (0.121% h(-1)), and sarcoplasmic protein (0.134% h(-1))). The rates decreased toward basal values by 72 h although rates of tendon collagen and myofibrillar protein synthesis remained elevated. There was no tissue damage of muscle visible on histological evaluation. Neither tissue microdialysate nor serum concentrations of IGF-I and IGF binding proteins (IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-4) or procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide changed from resting values. Thus, there is a rapid increase in collagen synthesis after strenuous exercise in human tendon and muscle. The similar time course of changes of protein synthetic rates in different cell types supports the idea of coordinated musculotendinous adaptation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Biosciences
                J Biosci
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0250-5991
                0973-7138
                December 2009
                December 3 2009
                December 2009
                : 34
                : 6
                : 853-872
                Article
                10.1007/s12038-009-0100-9
                20093739
                © 2009

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