Journal Article

Alanyl–glutamine dipeptide restores the cytoprotective stress proteome of mesothelial cells exposed to peritoneal dialysis fluids

Klaus Kratochwill, Michael Boehm, Rebecca Herzog, Anton Michael Lichtenauer, Elisabeth Salzer, Michael Lechner, Lilian Kuster, Konstantin Bergmeister, Andreas Rizzi, Bernd Mayer and Christoph Aufricht

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 27, issue 3, pages 937-946
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online August 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Alanyl–glutamine dipeptide restores the cytoprotective stress proteome of mesothelial cells exposed to peritoneal dialysis fluids

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Exposure of mesothelial cells to peritoneal dialysis fluids (PDF) results in cytoprotective cellular stress responses (CSR) that counteract PDF-induced damage. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the CSR may be inadequate in relevant models of peritoneal dialysis (PD) due to insufficient levels of glutamine, resulting in increased vulnerability against PDF cytotoxicity. We particularly investigated the role of alanyl–glutamine (Ala-Gln) dipeptide on the cytoprotective PDF stress proteome.


Adequacy of CSR was investigated in two human in vitro models (immortalized cell line MeT-5A and mesothelial cells derived from peritoneal effluent of uraemic patients) following exposure to heat-sterilized glucose-based PDF (PD4-Dianeal, Baxter) diluted with medium and, in a comparative proteomics approach, at different levels of glutamine ranging from depletion (0 mM) via physiological (0.7 mM) to pharmacological levels (8 mM administered as Ala-Gln).


Despite severe cellular injury, expression of cytoprotective proteins was dampened upon PDF exposure at physiological glutamine levels, indicating an inadequate CSR. Depletion of glutamine aggravated cell injury and further reduced the CSR, whereas addition of Ala-Gln at pharmacological level restored an adequate CSR, decreasing cellular damage in both PDF exposure systems. Ala-Gln specifically stimulated chaperoning activity, and cytoprotective processes were markedly enhanced in the PDF stress proteome.


Taken together, this study demonstrates an inadequate CSR of mesothelial cells following PDF exposure associated with low and physiological levels of glutamine, indicating a new and potentially relevant pathomechanism. Supplementation of PDF with pharmacological doses of Ala-Gln restored the cytoprotective stress proteome, resulting in improved resistance of mesothelial cells to exposure to PDF. Future work will study the clinical relevance of CSR-mediated cytoprotection.

Keywords: alanyl–glutamine; cytoprotection; heat shock proteins; peritoneal dialysis; stress proteome

Journal Article.  6415 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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