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Unveiling A Key Role Of Oxaloacetate-glutamate Interaction In Regulation Of Respiration And ROS Generation In Nonsynaptic Brain Mitochondria Using A Kinetic Model

Vitaly A. Selivanov, Olga A. Zagubnaya, Yaroslav R. Nartsissov, Marta Cascante

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Glutamate plays diverse roles in neuronal cells, affecting cell energetics and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. These roles are especially vital for neuronal cells, which deal with high amounts of glutamate as a neurotransmitter. Our analysis explored neuronal glutamate implication in cellular energy metabolism and ROS generation, using a kinetic model that simulates electron transport details in respiratory complexes, linked ROS generation and metabolic reactions. The analysis focused on the fact that glutamate attenuates complex II inhibition by oxaloacetate, stimulating the latter’s transformation into aspartate. Such a mechanism of complex II activation by glutamate could cause almost complete reduction of ubiquinone and deficiency of oxidized form (Q), which closes the main stream of electron transport and opens a way to massive ROS generating transfer in complex III from semiquinone radicals to molecular oxygen. In this way, under low workload, glutamate triggers the respiratory chain (RC) into a different steady state characterized by high ROS generation rate. The observed stepwise dependence of ROS generation on glutamate concentration experimentally validated this prediction. However, glutamate’s attenuation of oxaloacetate’s inhibition accelerates electron transport under high workload. Glutamate-oxaloacetate interaction in complex II regulation underlies the observed effects of uncouplers and inhibitors and acceleration of Ca2+ uptake. Thus, this theoretical analysis uncovered the previously unknown roles of oxaloacetate as a regulator of ROS generation and glutamate as a modifier of this regulation. The model predicted that this mechanism of complex II activation by glutamate might be operative in situ and responsible for excitotoxicity. Spatial-time gradients of synthesized hydrogen peroxide concentration, calculated in the reaction-diffusion model with convection under a non-uniform local approximation of nervous tissue, have shown that overproduction of H2O2 in a cell causes excess of its level in neighbor cells.