Gene delivery corrects N-acetylglutamate synthase deficiency and enables insights in the physiological impact of L-arginine activation of N-acetylglutamate synthase.

Scientific Reports
Parthasarathy SonaimuthuLjubica Caldovic


The urea cycle protects the central nervous system from ammonia toxicity by converting ammonia to urea. N-acetylglutamate synthase (NAGS) catalyzes formation of N-acetylglutamate, an essential allosteric activator of carbamylphosphate synthetase 1. Enzymatic activity of mammalian NAGS doubles in the presence of L-arginine, but the physiological significance of NAGS activation by L-arginine has been unknown. The NAGS knockout (Nags-/-) mouse is an animal model of inducible hyperammonemia, which develops hyperammonemia without N-carbamylglutamate and L-citrulline supplementation (NCG + Cit). We used adeno associated virus (AAV) based gene transfer to correct NAGS deficiency in the Nags-/- mice, established the dose of the vector needed to rescue Nags-/- mice from hyperammonemia and measured expression levels of Nags mRNA and NAGS protein in the livers of rescued animals. This methodology was used to investigate the effect of L-arginine on ureagenesis in vivo by treating Nags-/- mice with AAV vectors encoding either wild-type or E354A mutant mouse NAGS (mNAGS), which is not activated by L-arginine. The Nags-/- mice expressing E354A mNAGS were viable but had elevated plasma ammonia concentration despite similar levels of the E354A ...Continue Reading


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ion-exchange chromatography
Protein Assay

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