L-asparaginase effects on inhibition of protein synthesis and lowering of the glutamine content in cultured rat hepatocytes

Toxicol Lett. 1986 Sep;32(3):235-41. doi: 10.1016/0378-4274(86)90113-x.


Primary cultures of rat hepatocytes were exposed to various concentrations of L-asparaginase derived from Escherichia Coli. Protein synthesis was inhibited by about 33% and cellular glutamine was reduced proportionally to the enzyme concentration. However, protein synthesis was inhibited only by amounts of enzyme able to reduce glutamine to critical levels below 10 nmol/mg cell protein. These data suggest that the glutaminase activity which probably contaminates E. coli asparaginase may be responsible for reduced liver protein synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asparaginase / toxicity*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Escherichia coli
  • Glutamine / pharmacology*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Rats


  • Glutamine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Asparaginase