Dependence of glycine conjugation on availability of glycine: Role of the glycine cleavage system

Z. Gregus, T. Fekete, F. Varga, C. D. Klaassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


1. Glycine conjugation of benzoic acid was investigated in anaesthetized rats by measuring the disappearance of benzoate from blood, and the appearance of benzoylglycine in blood and urine. 2. Administration of glycine (1-10 mmol/kg, i.v.) increased the capacity of benzoylglycine formation in a dose-dependent fashion, with a maximal rate (8.1 μmol/kg per min) occurring after administration of 5 mmol/kg glycine. The normal endogenous glycine supply (1.7mM in liver) permits glycine conjugation only at an approximate half-maximal rate (4.5/μmol/kg/per min). 3. The increase in benzoylglycine formation in response to exogenous glycine supply is also a function of the benzoate dosage. Decreased responsiveness at high benzoate dosage indicates that the availability of coenzyme A is another factor that also limits the capacity of glycine conjugation. 4. Cysteamine (200mg/kg, i.p.), a potent inhibitor of the mitochondrial glycine cleavage system, rapidly increased hepatic glycine concentration 2-3-fold without affecting the concentration of the other co-substrates (i.e. coenzyme A and ATP) of glycine conjugation. 5. Administration of cysteamine increased the blood clearance of benzoate by 50% the appearance of benzoylglycine in blood, and the urinary excretion of benzoylglycine. 6. It is concluded that the activity of glycine cleavage system is an important determinant of glycine supply and, thereby, the capacity of glycine conjugation of xenobiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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