The Journal of biological chemistry

Role of glutamate decarboxylase-like protein 1 (GADL1) in taurine biosynthesis.

PMID 23038267


This manuscript concerns the tissue-specific transcription of mouse and cattle glutamate decarboxylase-like protein 1 (GADL1) and the biochemical activities of human GADL1 recombinant protein. Bioinformatic analysis suggested that GADL1 appears late in evolution, only being found in reptiles, birds, and mammals. RT-PCR determined that GADL1 mRNA is transcribed at high levels in mouse and cattle skeletal muscles and also in mouse kidneys. Substrate screening determined that GADL1, unlike its name implies, has no detectable GAD activity, but it is able to efficiently catalyze decarboxylation of aspartate, cysteine sulfinic acid, and cysteic acid to β-alanine, hypotaurine, and taurine, respectively. Western blot analysis verified the presence of GADL1 in mouse muscles, kidneys, C2C12 myoblasts, and C2C12 myotubes. Incubation of the supernatant of fresh muscle or kidney extracts with cysteine sulfinic acid resulted in the detection of hypotaurine or taurine in the reaction mixtures, suggesting the possible involvement of GADL1 in taurine biosynthesis. However, when the tissue samples were incubated with aspartate, no β-alanine production was observed. We proposed several possibilities that might explain the inactivation of ADC activity of GADL1 in tissue protein extracts. Although β-alanine-producing activity was not detected in the supernatant of tissue protein extracts, its potential role in β-alanine synthesis cannot be excluded. There are several inhibitors of the ADC activity of GADL1 identified. The discovery of GADL1 biochemical activities, in conjunction with its expression and activities in muscles and kidneys, provides some tangible insight toward establishing its physiological function(s).