Conservation of structure in ATP-depleted proximal tubules: Role of calcium, polyphosphoinositides, and glycine

R. Garza-Quintero, J. M. Weinberg, J. Ortega-Lopez, J. A. Davis, M. A. Venkatachalam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Increases of intracellular free Ca2+ (Caf) may mediate phospholipid hydrolysis and disintegration in energy-compromised cells; on the other hand, glycine and related amino acids preserve structure. We have examined the effects of increased Caf on phospholipids and structure in ATP-depleted cells, as well as how these actions may be modified by glycine. Incubation of isolated proximal tubules with antimycin A led to ATP depletion, delayed increases of Caf to micromolar levels, polyphosphoinositide (PPI) hydrolysis by phospholipase C, and generalized disintegration of cell structure. Glycine inhibited PPI hydrolysis and preserved cell structure in entirety but did not apparently modify the Caf increases. When overwhelming increases of Caf were induced by the additional presence of a Ca2+ ionophore, glycine did not inhibit either the hydrolysis of PPI or disruption of mitochondria and microvilli. However, the cells remained integrated and unbroken. Incubation in low-Ca2+ medium prevented Caf increases, inhibited PPI hydrolysis, and preserved the structure of mitochondria and microvilli. Nevertheless, there was lethal damage by disintegration of all other membranes. This damage was prevented specifically and completely by glycine. Thus compartments of cells were shown to be differentially susceptible to injury from increased Caf or lack of glycine. Although damage by either factor occurs by distinct mechanisms, glycine also appears to have effects that suppress the deleterious effects of Ca2+ so long as Caf increases are not overwhelming. Our results also suggest that the PPI have a major structural role, which may be compromised by Caf increase during ATP depletion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F605-F623
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number5 34-5
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Microvilli
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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