Proline biosynthetic and degradative enzymes are unevenly distributed in differentiated mammalian tissues. Activities of the synthetic enzymes are relatively high in collagenous tissues, whereas activities of the degradative enzymes are high in noncollagenous tissues. In order to further characterize tissue-specific proline biosynthesis and degradation, we have determined proline enzyme activities during cartilage and bone formation induced by demineralized bone matrix. We can thus follow temporal changes in enzyme activity in a single tissue as different cell types develop. Ornithine aminotransferase and pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase have peaks of activity which correlate with maximal type II collagen synthesis by chondrocytes. Both enzymes also are active during bone formation. In contrast, proline oxidase and pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase are present at low levels and do not change as new cell types appear. Arginase activity peaks during the first 3 days and then rapidly decreases by the time cartilage and bone formation begin. These observations further substantiate the importance of proline biosynthesis in collagenous tissues. The close correlation between ornithine aminotransferase activity and type II collagen synthesis suggests that the pathway from ornithine to proline may be especially important during formation of type II collagen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas