Monensin, a univalent ionophore, is a carboxylic acid produced by Streptomyces cinnamonensis. It will complex various alkali-metal ions, but most readily binds Na+. Because of interest in the possible role of Na+ in the regulation of insulin secretion, we examined its effects on several aspects of the metabolism of isolated rat islets of Langerhans. The ionophore inhibited glucose-stimulated insulin release in a concentration-dependent manner, completely inhibiting secretion evoked by 20 mM-glucose at concentrations as low as 0.1 microM in static incubations. In perifusion experiments, both phases of insulin release were equally affected. Monensin (0.1 microM) had no significant effect on glucose oxidation as measured by the generation of 14CO2 from [14C]glucose. Monensin increased the rate of 22Na+ efflux from preloaded islets and net 22Na+ uptake over 30 min, in the absence of changes in islet volume or extracellular space. The ionophore increased the Rb+/K+ permeability of islet cells, as shown by its inhibition of 86Rb+ retention and stimulation of 86Rb+ efflux. At 0.1 microM, monensin abolished glucose-stimulated 45Ca2+ uptake by islets during 5 min incubations, and stimulated 45Ca2+ efflux from preloaded islets perifused with Ca2+-free medium, even in the complete absence of extracellular Na+. Studies of the uptake of 14C-labelled 5,5-dimethyloxazolidine-2,4-dione showed that 0.1 microM-monensin increased net intracellular pH from 7.05 to 7.13. 7 Monensin has widespread, complex, effects on the secretory responses and ion handling by the B cells, which are difficult to interpret in terms solely of actions as a Na+ ionophore.
1. GAMMA-Glutamylcyclotransferase was purified 10000-fold from human erythrocytes. 2. The purification steps involved fractionation with (NH4)(2)SO(4) and chromatography on Sephadex G-75, DEAE-cellulose and hydroxyapatite. The purified enzyme was found to be homogeneous on density-gradient polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. 3. The maximum reaction rate was observed at pH9.0 and the apparent Km value for gamma-glutamyl-L-alanine was 2.2mM. 4. The molecular weight (25250) of the purified enzyme agreed well with the value (25500) in fresh haemolysates, indicating no apparent structural modification of the enzyme during purification. However, rapid processing of the blood through the initial (NH4)(2)SO(4) and Sephadex-chromatography steps was required to prevent formation of a high-molecular-weight aggregate with substantially lower specific activity. 5. gamma-Glutamylcyclotransferase catalyses the formation of 5-oxoproline from gamma-glutamyl dipeptides. The role of this enzyme in erythrocytes is of particular interest, because gamma-glutamyl-L-cysteine serves as a substrate for both gamma-glutamylcyclotransferase and glutathione synthetase. Thus the cyclotransferase could modulate glutathione synthesis.
Methylene Blue injected into rabbits resulted in increased glutamate, reduced glutathione and pyrrolid-2-one-5-carboxylate in erythrocytes. The increase in reduced glutathione was probably due to increased glutamate changing the feedback control of glutathione on gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase.