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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
On-line version ISSN 1806-9940
CRUZAT, Vinicius Fernandes; PETRY, Éder Ricardo and TIRAPEGUI, Julio. Glutamine: biochemical, metabolic, molecular aspects and supplementation. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2009, vol.15, n.5, pp. 392-397. ISSN 1806-9940. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922009000600015.
Glutamine is the most frequent free amino acid in the serum and muscular tissue. Nutritionally, it is classified as a non-essential amino acid, once it can be synthesized by the body from other amino acids. Glutamine is involved in different functions, such as cell proliferation and development, basic acid balance, ammonia transportation between tissues, carbon skeleton donation to the gluconeogenesis, participation in the antioxidant system, among others. Molecular biology techniques show that it may also influence several cell signaling ways, especially the expression of heat shock proteins (HSP). The HSPs contribute to the maintenance of the cellular homeostasis in the presence of stress agents such as oxygen reactive species (ORE). In situations of high cellular catabolism, as after intense and prolonged physical exercises, the glutamine concentration may become reduced. Lower availability of this amino acid may decrease the cell resistance to injuries, leading to cellular apoptosis processes. Therefore, L-glutamine supplementation either in free form or as dipeptide has been investigated. Some biochemical and metabolic aspects, molecular mechanism of glutamine, as well as the effects of its supplementation are approached in the present article.
Keywords : glutamine; exercise; HSP; supplementation; dipeptide.