Subregional and intracellular distribution of NADP-linked malic enzyme in human brain.

Biochemical medicine and metabolic biology

PubMedID: 8192915

Bukato G, Kochan Z, Swierczynski J. Subregional and intracellular distribution of NADP-linked malic enzyme in human brain. Biochem Med Metab Biol. 1994;51(1):43-50.
High total activity (expressed as mumol/min/g of wet tissue or per milligram of DNA) and differential subregional distribution of NADP-linked malic enzyme was found in autopsy specimens of human brain. Striatum showed the highest activity of malic enzyme, which was two- to five-fold higher than that in other human organs tested. High activity was also found in frontal cortex, while the lowest activity of the enzyme in the central nervous system was found in cerebellum, substantia alba, and corpus callosum. In striatum, frontal cortex, pons, and cerebellum more than 80% of total malic enzyme activity was localized in the mitochondrial fraction, while in substantia alba and corpus callosum approximately 60% of the enzyme activity was present in the mitochondrial fraction. Relatively high specific activity of malic enzyme was found in a crude mitochondrial fraction isolated from various regions of human brain. The highest specific activity was found in the mitochondria isolated from striatum (more than 100 nmol/min/mg of mitochondrial protein); the lowest, but still high (approximately 32 nmol/min/mg of mitochondrial protein) was present in corpus callosum. These data and the different ratios of citrate synthase to mitochondrial malic enzyme activities found in different regions of brain suggest that human brain mitochondria, like the mitochondria isolated from other mammalian brains, are extremely heterogenous. A possible role of mitochondrial malic enzyme in human brain metabolism is discussed.