Glutamate dehydrogenase 1 and SIRT4 regulate glial development. Academic Article uri icon

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  • Congenital hyperinsulinism/hyperammonemia (HI/HA) syndrome is caused by an activation mutation of glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GDH1), a mitochondrial enzyme responsible for the reversible interconversion between glutamate and α-ketoglutarate. The syndrome presents clinically with hyperammonemia, significant episodic hypoglycemia, seizures, and frequent incidences of developmental and learning defects. Clinical research has implicated that although some of the developmental and neurological defects may be attributed to hypoglycemia, some characteristics cannot be ascribed to low glucose and as hyperammonemia is generally mild and asymptomatic, there exists the possibility that altered GDH1 activity within the brain leads to some clinical changes. GDH1 is allosterically regulated by many factors, and has been shown to be inhibited by the ADP-ribosyltransferase sirtuin 4 (SIRT4), a mitochondrially localized sirtuin. Here we show that SIRT4 is localized to mitochondria within the brain. SIRT4 is highly expressed in glial cells, specifically astrocytes, in the postnatal brain and in radial glia during embryogenesis. Furthermore, SIRT4 protein decreases in expression during development. We show that factors known to allosterically regulate GDH1 alter gliogenesis in CTX8 cells, a novel radial glial cell line. We find that SIRT4 and GDH1 overexpression play antagonistic roles in regulating gliogenesis and that a mutant variant of GDH1 found in HI/HA patients accelerates the development of glia from cultured radial glia cells.


  • Komlos, Daniel
  • Mann, Kara D
  • Zhuo, Yue
  • Ricupero, Christopher L
  • Hart, Robert
  • Liu, Alice Y-C
  • Firestein, Bonnie L

publication date

  • March 2013

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