SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells: a model system for studying biosynthesis of NAAG

Journal Article

By: P.; Madhavarao Arun, C; Hershfield, J; Moffett, J; Namboodiri, M
Publication Name: Neuroreport
Year: 2004

N-Acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) is a neuropeptide that is thought to modulate neurotransmitter release through pre-synaptic mGluR3 receptors. Despite years of research into NAAG biochemistry, almost nothing is known about NAAG biosynthesis. To date, NAAG biosynthesis has only been demonstrated conclusively in explanted animal neural tissues, including frog retina, rat dorsal root ganglia and crayfish nerve cord, but not in human cells or tissues. We show here that a human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y, provides a good model system for the study of NAAG biosynthesis. Radiolabled NAAG synthesis occurred using both L-[3H]glutamic acid and L-[3H]glutamine as precursors, with glutamine being the preferred substrate. Differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells with retinoic acid resulted in decreased radiolabel incorporation into NAAG, whereas differentiation with nerve growth factor did not affect radiolabel incorporation.

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