PMID: 627549Mar 10, 1978

Studies on the regulation of leucine catabolism in the liver. Stimulation by pyruvate and dichloroacetate

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
D W Crabb, R A Harris


The rate of oxidation of L-[1-14C]leucine to 14CO2 by isolated rat hepatocytes is increased by pyruvate and dichloroacetate. This effect is specific for L-leucine, not being observed for L-valine, L-isoleucine, or D-leucine. Transamination, the rate-limiting step of L-leucine catabolism in the liver, is the site of stimulation, because uptake of L-leucine by the cells and the oxidation of its transamination product, alpha-ketoisocaproate, are not increased. Measurement of steady state levels of alpha-ketoisocaproate indicate that both pyruvate and dichloroacetate promote the transamination of L-leucine, thereby increasing the availability of substrate for decarboxylation by the alpha-ketoisocaproate dehydrogenase complex (EC Pyruvate stimulation of transamination is secondary to the provision of keto acid acceptors for the amino group of L-leucine. The mechanism of the effect of dichloroacetate remains unknown.

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