Taurine 3 pp 25-32 | Cite as

Cysteine Sulfinate Decarboxylase (CSD): Molecular Cloning, Sequence and Genomic Expression in Brain

  • Marcel Tappaz
  • Isabelle Reymond
  • Marc Bitoun
  • Alain Sergeant
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 442)


Cysteine sulfinate decarboxylase (CSD) is thought to be the rate limiting step of taurine biosynthesis9. It may thus represent a key enzyme in the function of taurine. While a CSD activity was detected in crude brain extracts more than four decades ago, its identification, characterization and cellular localization in brain proved difficult and led to controversial reports (For review see14,15). We previously established that there exists in brain an enzyme showing a strong affinity and narrow specificity for cysteine sulfinic acid (CSA) and cysteic acid (CA)6. Brain CSD appeared to be very similar to the CSD from liver: both proteins have similar physico-chemical and enzymatic properties3,6 and share common antigenic epitopes9. Using a specific antiserum against liver CSD1 we showed that CSD immunopositive cells in hippocampus and cerebellum were astrocytes through a quantitative double immunofluorescence analysis with appropriate astroglial markers11. In rat brain, CSD expression level reveals two distinct phenotypes in astrocytes that exhibit a different distribution pattern10. Given that taurine was reported to be localized predominantly in neurons5,8, our findings suggest that the poorly understood functional role of taurine in the brain4,7 should be investigated within the framework of astrocyte-neuron interactions. In addition, our results suggest that the CSD expression level may vary greatly among astrocytes according to their location and functional state. Disclosing the regulation of the genomic expression of CSD in various experimental situations could help provide insight into the physiological role of taurine in the brain. With this long-term goal in mind, we have carried out molecular cloning of CSD12, determined its sequence and developed new appropriate tools, such as the quantification of CSD-mRNA through competitive reverse transcription coupled with polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). These molecular biology techniques will enable us to investigate the regulation of the genomic expression of CSD in brain, as well as in astrocytes in primary culture.


Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Genomic Expression Cysteic Acid Cysteine Sulfinic Acid Cysteine Sulfinate Decarboxylase 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcel Tappaz
    • 1
  • Isabelle Reymond
    • 1
  • Marc Bitoun
    • 1
  • Alain Sergeant
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculté de Médecine LaennecINSERM U 433LyonFrance
  2. 2.Ecole Normale SupérieureINSERM U 412LyonFrance

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