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Regulation of gtp cyclohydrolase and tetrahydrobiopterin levels and the role of the cofactor in tyrosine hydroxylation in primary cultures of adrenomedullary chromaffin cells

, : Regulation of gtp cyclohydrolase and tetrahydrobiopterin levels and the role of the cofactor in tyrosine hydroxylation in primary cultures of adrenomedullary chromaffin cells. Journal of Neurochemistry 46(4): 1190-1199

Selective modification of the tetrahydrobiopterin levels in cultured chromaffin cells were followed by changes in the rate of tyrosine hydroxylation. Addition of sepiapterin, an intermediate on the salvage pathway for tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis, rapidly increased intracellular levels of tetrahydrobiopterin and elevated the rate of tyrosine hydroxylation in the intact cell. Tyrosine hydroxylation was also enhanced when tetrahydrobiopterin was directly added to the incubation medium of intact cells. When the cultured chromaffin cells were treated for 72 h with N-acetylserotonin, an inhibitor of sepiapterin reductase, tetrahydrobiopterin content and the rate of tyrosine hydroxylation were decreased. Addition of sepiapterin or N-acetylserotonin had no consistent effect on total extractable tyrosine hydroxylase activity or on catecholamine content in the cultured chromaffin cells. Three-day treatment of chromaffin cell cultures with compounds that increase levels of cyclic AMP (forskolin, cholera toxin, theophylline, dibutyryl- and 8-bromo cyclic AM) increased total extractable tyrosine hydroxylase activity and GTP-cyclohydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin. Tetrahydrobiopterin levels and intact cell tyrosine hydroxylation were markedly increased after 8-bromo cyclic AMP. The increase in GTP-cyclohydrolase and tetrahydrobiopterin induced by 8-bromo cyclic AMP was blocked by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. Agents that deplete cellular catecholamines (reserpine, tetrabenazine, and brocresine) increased both total tyrosine hydroxylase and GTP-cyclohydrolase activities, although treating the cultures with reserpine or tetrabenazine resulted in no change in cellular levels of cyclic AMP. Brocresine and tetrabenazine increased tetrahydrobiopterin levels, but the addition of reserpine to the cultures decreased catecholamine and tetrahydrobiopterin content and resulted in a decreased rate of intact cell tyrosine hydroxylation in spite of the increased activity of the total extractable enzyme. These data indicate that in cultured chromaffin cells GTP-cyclohydrolase activity like tyrosine hydroxylase activity is regulated by both cyclic AMP-dependent and cyclic AMP-independent mechanisms and that the intracellular level of tetrahydrobiopterin is one of the many factors that control the rate of tyrosine hydroxylation.

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