M. Conway

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The branched chain aminotransferase enzymes (BCAT) serve as nitrogen donors for the production of 30% of de novo glutamate synthesis in rat brain. Despite the importance of this major metabolite and excitatory neurotransmitter, the distribution of BCAT proteins in the human brain (hBCAT) remains unreported. We have studied this and report, for the first(More)
BACKGROUND The human branched chain aminotransferases (hBCATm, mitochondrial and hBCATc, cytosolic) are major contributors to brain glutamate production. This excitatory neurotransmitter is thought to contribute to neurotoxicity in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) but the expression of hBCAT in this disease has not previously(More)
Crystal structures of the fold type IV pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent human mitochondrial branched chain aminotransferase (hBCATm) reaction intermediates have provided a structural explanation for the kinetically determined substrate specificity of hBCATm. The isoleucine side chain in the ketimine intermediate occupies a hydrophobic binding pocket that(More)
The human cytosolic branched-chain aminotransferase (hBCATc) enzyme is strategically located in glutamatergic neurons, where it is thought to provide approximately 30% of de novo nitrogen for brain glutamate synthesis. In health, glutamate plays a dominant role in facilitating learning and memory. However, in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), synaptic(More)
Correct protein folding and inhibition of protein aggregation is facilitated by a cellular "quality control system" that engages a network of protein interactions including molecular chaperones and the ubiquitin proteasome system. Key chaperones involved in these regulatory mechanisms are the protein disulfide isomerases (PDI) and their homologs,(More)
The redox-active dithiol/disulfide C315-Xaa-Xaa-C318 center has been implicated in the regulation of the human mitochondrial branched chain aminotransferase isozyme (hBCATm) [Conway, M. E., Yennawar, N., Wallin, R., Poole, L. B., and Hutson, S. M. (2002) Biochemistry 41, 9070-9078]. To explore further the mechanistic details of this CXXC center, mutants of(More)
The human mitochondrial branched chain aminotransferase isoenzyme (hBCATm) must be stored in a reducing environment to remain active. Oxidation or labeling of hBCATm with sulfhydryl reagents results in enzyme inhibition. In this study, we investigated both the structural and biochemical basis for the sensitivity of hBCATm to these reagents. In its native(More)
Cytosolic and mitochondrial human branched chain aminotransferase (hBCATc and hBCATm, respectively) play an integral role in brain glutamate metabolism. Regional increased levels of hBCATc in the CA1 and CA4 region of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain together with increased levels of hBCATm in frontal and temporal cortex of AD brains, suggest a role for these(More)
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