Synthesis of glycine from 4-hydroxyproline in tissues of neonatal pigsShengdi Hu, Wenliang He, Fuller W Bazer, Gregory A Johnson, Guoyao Wu
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Glycine from sow’s milk only meets 20% of the requirement of suckling piglets. However, how glycine is synthesized endogenously in neonates is not known. This study determined glycine synthesis from 4-hydroxyproline (an abundant amino acid in milk and neonatal blood) in tissues of sow-reared piglets with normal birth weights. Piglets were euthanized at 0, 7, 14 and 21 days of age, and their tissues were used to determine glycine synthesis from 0 to 5 mM 4-hydroxyproline, activities and mRNA expression of key glycine-synthetic enzymes, and their cell-specific localization. Activities of 4-hydroxyproline oxidase (OH-POX), proline oxidase (POX), serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT), threonine dehydrogenase (TDH), alanine:glyoxylate transaminase (AGT), and 4-hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate aldolase (HOA) occurred in the kidneys and liver from all age groups of piglets, and in the pancreas of 7- to 21-day-old piglets. Activities of OH-POX and HOA were absent from the small intestine of newborn pigs but present in the small intestine of 7- to 21-day-old piglets and in the skeletal muscle of 14- to 21-day-old piglets. Between days 0 and 21 of age, the enzymatic activities of OH-POX, AGT, and HOA decreased in the liver and kidneys but increased in the pancreas and small intestine with age. The mRNA levels of these three enzymes changed in a manner similar to their enzymatic activities. In contrast to OH-POX, AGT, and HOA, the enzymatic activities of POX, SHMT, and TDH were present in the kidneys, liver, and intestine of all age groups of piglets. Glycine was synthesized from 0.1 to 5 mM 4-hydroxyproline in the liver and kidney from 0- to 21-day-old piglets, as well as the pancreas, small intestine, and skeletal muscle from 14- to 21-day-old piglets in a concentration-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings indicate that 4-hydroxyproline is used for the synthesis of glycine in tissues of piglets to compensate for the deficiency of glycine in milk.