, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 31–43 | Cite as

The inhibitory effect of glutamate on the growth of a murine hybridoma is caused by competitive inhibition of the x-C transport system required for cystine utilization

  • E.R. Broadhurst
  • M. Butler


Glutamic acid was found to be growth inhibitory to a murinelymphocyte hybridoma in a concentration-dependent manner from 3to 12 mM glutamate. At 12 mM glutamate there was a 70% decreasein the specific growth rate of the cells. Attempts to alleviateinhibition or adapt cells to growth in glutamate-based mediawere unsuccessful. It is proposed that elevated glutamate levelsimpair adequate uptake of cystine, a critical amino acid for thesynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione is required by cells toprevent intracellular oxidative stress. The measured rate ofuptake of U-14C L-cystine into the cells was found to havethe following parameters: Km = 0.87 mM, Vmax = 0.9nmole/mg cell protein per min. The uptake was sodiumindependent and resembled the previously described x-ctransport system, with elevated glutamate levels causingextensive inhibition. Glutamate at a concentration of 1.4 mMcaused a 50% decrease in cystine uptake from the serum-freegrowth medium. Glutamate was taken up from the external medium(Km = 20 mM and Vmax = 12.5 nmole/mg cell protein permin) by the same transport system in a stereo specific, sodiumindependent manner. Of the amino acids examined, it was foundthat cystine and homocysteic acid were the most extensiveinhibitors of glutamate uptake and that inhibition was competitive. Metabolic profiles of the cells grown in culturescontaining enhanced glutamate levels revealed an overallincrease in net production of alanine, serine, asparagine andaspartate. A substantially increased specific consumption ofglutamate was accompanied by a decreased consumption of cystine,valine and phenylalanine.The combined kinetic and metabolic results indicate thatglutamate and cystine are taken up by the anionic transportsystem x-c. The increasing levels of glutamate in themedium result in a decreased transport of cystine by this systemdue to competitive inhibition by glutamate.

hybridoma glutamate cystine transport 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • E.R. Broadhurst
    • 1
  • M. Butler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Manitoba, WinnipegManitobaCanada
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Manitoba, WinnipegManitobaCanada

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