Changes in metabolism of inorganic polyphosphate in rat tissues and human cells during development and apoptosis

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1997 Apr 17;1335(1-2):51-60. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4165(96)00121-3.


Age-dependent studies show that the amount of inorganic polyphosphate in rat brain strongly increases after birth. Maximal levels were found in 12-months old animals. Thereafter, the concentration of total polyphosphate decreases to about 50%. This decrease in the concentration of total polyphosphate is due to a decrease in the amount of insoluble, long-chain polyphosphates. The amount of soluble, long-chain polyphosphates does not change significantly in the course of ageing. In rat embryos and newborns, mainly soluble polyphosphates could be detected. In rat liver, the age-dependent changes are less pronounced. The changes in polyphosphate level are accompanied by changes in exopolyphosphatase activity, which degrades the polymers to orthophosphate; highest enzyme activities were found when the polyphosphate level was low. Induction of apoptosis in the human leukemic cell line HL-60 by actinomycin D results in degradation of long polyphosphate chains. The total polyphosphate content does not change significantly in apoptotic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Apoptosis*
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Polyphosphates / chemistry
  • Polyphosphates / isolation & purification
  • Polyphosphates / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Polyphosphates