De novo purine synthesis
Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Hypoxanthine is present in preparations of follicular fluid and has been shown to suppress the spontaneous meiotic maturation of mammalian oocytes in vitro. The present experiments examined the possible role of hypoxanthine metabolism in mediating this meiotic arrest. Four putative inhibitors of the enzyme, hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT), which metabolizes hypoxanthine to inosine monophosphate, were tested on lysates of oocyte-cumulus cell complexes. At a concentration of 1 mM, 6-mercapto-9-(tetrahydro-2-furyl)-purine (MPTF) and 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) suppressed enzymatic activity by 86% and 98%, respectively, while 6-azauridine and 2,6-bis-(hydroxyamino)-9-β-D-ribofuranosyl-purine had no effect. MPTF and 6-MP increased the inhibitory effect of hypoxanthine on germinal vesicle breakdown, but the other agents did not. The 2 active agents had similar effects on salvage activity and hypoxanthine-maintained meiotic arrest in denuded oocytes. Also, oocytes from XO mice were more sensitive to the meiosis-arresting action of hypoxanthine than oocytes from XX littermates, which have twice the HPRT activity. The actions of the HPRT inhibitors were not due to their conversion to nucleotides via HPRT and negative feedback on purine de novo synthesis, because azaserine and 6-methylmercaptopurine riboside, which are more potent inhibitors of de novo synthesis, had a stimulatory, rather than inhibitory, effect on hypoxanthine-arrested oocytes. Furthermore, several lines of evidence indicate that metabolism of hypoxanthine to xanthine and uric acid by xanthine oxidase does not mediate the inhibitory action of this purine base on meiotic maturation. The data therefore suggest that nonmetabolized hypoxanthine is responsible for the meiotic arrest observed, most likely through suppression of cAMP degradation. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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