S-Adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase of mammalian hearts from different species is exclusively a cytosolic enzyme. The apparent Km for the guinea-pig enzyme was 2.9 microM (synthesis) and 0.39 microM (hydrolysis). Perfusion of isolated guinea-pig hearts for 120 min with L-homocysteine thiolactone (0.23 mM) and adenosine (0.1 mM), in the presence of erythro-9-(2-hydroxynon-3-yl)adenine to inhibit adenosine deaminase, caused tissue contents of S-adenosylhomocysteine to increase from 3.5 to 3600 nmol/g. When endogenous adenosine production was accelerated by perfusion of hearts with hypoxic medium (30% O2), L-homocysteine thiolactone (0.23 mM) increased S-adenosyl-homocysteine 17-fold to 64.3 nmol/g within 15 min. In the presence of 4-nitro-benzylthioinosine (5 microM), an inhibitor of adenosine transport, S-adenosylhomocysteine further increased to 150 nmol/g. L-Homocysteine thiolactone decreased the hypoxia-induced augmentation of adenosine, inosine and hypoxanthine in the tissue and the release of these purines into the coronary system by more than 50%. Our findings indicate that L-homocysteine can profoundly alter adenosine metabolism in the intact heart by conversion of adenosine into S-adenosylhomocysteine. Adenosine formed during hypoxia was most probably generated within the myocardial cell.
- © 1981 London: The Biochemical Society