Enzymology of Pyrimidine Metabolism and Neurodegeneration

Author(s): Silvia Vincenzetti, Valeria Polzonetti, Daniela Micozzi, Stefania Pucciarelli

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 23 , Issue 14 , 2016

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It is well known that disorders of pyrimidine pathways may lead to neurological, hematological, immunological diseases, renal impairments, and association with malignancies. Nucleotide homeostasis depends on the three stages of pyrimidine metabolism: de novo synthesis, catabolism and recycling of these metabolites.

Cytidine and uridine, in addition to be used as substrates for pyrimidine nucleotide salvaging, also act as the precursors of cytidine triphosphate used in the biosynthetic pathway of both brain’s phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine via the Kennedy cycle. The synthesis in the brain of phosphatidylcholine and other membrane phosphatides can utilize, in addition to glucose, three compounds present in the blood stream: choline, uridine, and a polyunsaturated fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid.

Some authors, using rat models, found that oral administration of two phospholipid precursors such as uridine and omega-3 fatty acids, along with choline from the diet, can increase the amount of synaptic membrane generated by surviving striatal neurons in rats with induced Parkinson’s disease. Other authors found that in hypertensive rat fed with uridine and choline, cognitive deficit resulted improved. Uridine has also been recently considered as a neuroactive molecule, because of its involvement in important neurological functions by improving memory, sleep disorders, anti-epileptic effects, as well as neuronal plasticity. Cytidine and uridine are uptaken by the brain via specific receptors and successively salvaged to the corresponding nucleotides. The present review is devoted to the enzymology of pyrimidine pathways whose importance has attracted the attention of several researchers investigating on the mechanisms underlying the physiopathology of brain.

Keywords: Pyrimidine salvage, “de novo” pyrimidine, pyrimidine metabolism enzymes, pyrimidine homeostasis, nucleoside transport, brain phospholipids biosynthesis, neurological disorders.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Published on: 13 May, 2016
Page: [1408 - 1431]
Pages: 24
DOI: 10.2174/0929867323666160411125803
Price: $65

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