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Dev Biol 1995 Jun 01;1692:733-44. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1995.1183.
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The in vivo rate of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity in sea urchin eggs determined with a photolabile caged substrate.

Swezey RR , Epel D .

Some of the earliest metabolic changes after fertilization of sea urchin eggs center around the activity of the pentose phosphate shunt. We here report on the in vivo activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), the first enzyme of this shunt, as assayed with a photolabile (caged) analog of the substrate, glucose-6-phosphate (G6P). Caged G6P was synthesized from radiolabeled (5-3H or 1-14C) glucose and loaded into unfertilized sea urchin eggs by transient electroporation. Irradiation of these eggs (either before or after fertilization) photolyses the caged G6P, thereby pulsing the cell with 3H- and 14C-labeled G6P. The fluxes of G6P into glycolysis and the pentose shunt are calculated from the rates of oxidation of labeled G6P to 3H2O and 14CO2; since the turnover of the 6-phosphogluconate pool by 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase is nearly instantaneous (Swezey, R.R., and Epel, D. (1992) Exp. Cell Res. 201:366-372), the rate of 14CO2 production by the pentose shunt is equal to the flux of G6P through G6PDH. The data indicate that G6PDH activity is very low in unfertilized eggs, increases 184- to 427-fold by 2 min after fertilization, and then decreases to a value that is 74 to 209 times the unfertilized level (maximally 0.005 x 10(-8) units per egg in unfertilized eggs, 2.14 x 10(-8) units per egg by 2 min after fertilization, and 1.05 x 10(-8) units per egg by 20 min after fertilization). In spite of this substantial activation, the enzyme activity is considerably repressed; compared with activity in broken cell extracts, G6PDH at these developmental times operates in vivo at 0-0.003%, 0.52-1.21%, and 0.21-0.59%, respectively, of its potential activity. These results are discussed in terms of various hypotheses regarding the modulation of G6PDH activity by fertilization. These activity measurements relate well to other indices of in vivo activity. The major use of the NADPH shortly after fertilization is to produce H2O2, which is used as a substrate for fertilization membrane hardening; our data indicate that the NADPH that is produced by the pentose shunt activity is 30-70% of that required for this postfertilization generation of H2O2.

PubMed ID: 7781912
Article link: Dev Biol
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Genes referenced: g6pd LOC100887844 LOC115919910 LOC587800