The mechanism by which S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and adenosine (Ado) increase ATP levels in intact human erythrocytes in vitro has been compared. The use of erythrocytes from healthy controls and from subjects totally deficient in adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT), plus inhibitors of adenosine kinase (AK) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) separately and together, has enabled us to demonstrate that this increment in ATP levels occurred via totally different metabolic routes. The results show that: (i) whilst the Ado-induced increment in ATP was AK dependent, that produced by SAM was independent of AK; and (ii) the SAM-induced increment in ATP was totally dependent on APRT and that some of the increment produced by Ado might also be APRT dependent. The above data are consistent with the metabolism of SAM to ATP by a route recently identified by us whereby ATP is formed from deoxyadenosine: namely binding to the enzyme S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase with subsequent release of adenine and further conversion to ATP via APRT. © 1990.
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