Perivenous and periportal hepatocytes were isolated by the digitonin/collagenase perfusion technique. The specific activity of phosphate-activated glutaminase was 2.33-fold higher in periportal cells than in perivenous cells. Similarly, the relative abundance of glutaminase mRNA was 2.6-fold higher in samples from periportal cells. The distribution of glutaminase activity and mRNA was compared with those for glutamine synthetase (predominantly perivenous) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (predominantly periportal). The results suggest that phosphate-activated glutaminase is predominantly expressed in the periportal zone of the liver acinus.

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