Human lung fibroblasts (WI-38) in late exponential phase of growth, in stationary phase after confluency was reached, and at high or low number of population doublings were used to investigate the synthesis of proline and hydroxyproline from glutamate or arginine. Glutamate was from two to five times as effective a precursor as arginine; glutamine did not seem to be involved in these metabolic pathways. Accumulation of protein-bound hydroxyproline in cell layers was observed only after confluency. Confluent cells synthesized more proline from glutamate than did cells in late exponential growth. Conversion of glutamate into intracellular free proline was conducted also to a greater extent in confluent cells at a high number of population doublings. Conversion of glutamate into proline or hydroxyproline in cell-layer protein was not affected significantly by the number of population doublings. Less total protein as well as less hydroxyproline accumulated with cells at a high number of population doublings.
- © 1975 The Biochemical Society