Catalase is an antioxidant enzyme that has been shown to inhibit apoptotic or necrotic neuronal death induced by hydrogen peroxide. We report the purification of a contaminating antiapoptotic activity from a commercial bovine liver catalase preparation by following its ability to inhibit apoptosis when applied extracellularly in multiple death paradigms. The antiapoptotic activity was identified by protein microsequencing as arginase, a urea cycle and nitric oxide synthase-regulating enzyme, and confirmed by demonstrating the presence of antiapoptotic activity in a >97% pure preparation of recombinant arginase. The pluripotency of recombinant arginase was demonstrated by its ability to inhibit apoptosis in multiple paradigms including rat cortical neurons induced to die by glutathione depletion and oxidative stress, by 100 nM staurosporine treatment, or by Sindbis virus infection. The protective effects of arginase in these apoptotic paradigms, in contrast to previous studies on excitotoxic neuronal necrosis, are independent of nitric oxide synthase inhibition. Rather, arginase-induced depletion of arginine leads to inhibition of protein synthesis, resulting in cell survival. Because inhibitors of nitric oxide synthesis and of protein synthesis have been shown to decrease necrotic and apoptotic death, respectively, in animal models of stroke and spinal cord injury, arginine- depleting enzymes, capable of simultaneously inhibiting protein synthesis and nitric oxide generation, may be propitious therapeutic agents for acute neurological diseases. Furthermore, our results suggest caution in attributing the cytoprotective effects of some catalase preparations to catalase.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Jun 1 1998|
- Nitric oxide
- Oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas