1-Methyladenine (1-MeAde), the oocyte maturation-inducing substance in starfish, is produced by ovarian follicle cells upon stimulation with a gonad-stimulating substance (GSS) released from the radial nerves. We have shown previously that GSS causes a reduction in the intracellular levels of ATP coincident with 1-MeAde production. The present study examined whether the adenine molecule of 1-MeAde is directly derived from ATP. When isolated follicle cells from the starfish Asterina pectinifera were preloaded with [U-14C]adenine or [U-14C]adenosine, there was an increase in the intracellular levels of radiolabeled adenine nucleotides, particularly ATP. Following further incubation with GSS, the intracellular levels of radiolabeled ATP decreased, concomitant with a marked increase in the levels of [14C]1-MeAde in the medium. The amount of ATP consumed under the influence of GSS was similar to the amount of 1-MeAde produced. However, there was no change in the levels of ADP and AMP regardless of the presence or absence of GSS. These findings strongly suggest that 1-MeAde is synthesized from ATP as a substrate in follicle cells under the influence of GSS. Furthermore, using [methyl-3H]methionine, the methyl group of 1-MeAde was found to be derived from methionine. Thus GSS appears to stimulate the synthesis of 1-MeAde from ATP via the methylation process in starfish ovarian follicle cells. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
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