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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 1978; 75(10): 4881–4885.
PMCID: PMC336225

Purification and characterization of branched chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase complex of bovine kidney


A branched chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase-dihydrolipoyl transacylase complex was purified to apparent homogeneity from bovine kidney mitochondria. As usually isolated, the complex (s20,w = 40 S) contained little, if any, dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase. When saturated with the latter enzyme the complex had a specific activity of about 12 μmol of α-ketoisovalerate oxidized per min per mg of protein at 30° with NAD+ as electron acceptor. In addition to α-ketoisovalerate, the complex also oxidized α-ketoisocaproate, α-keto-β-methylvalerate, α-ketobutyrate, and pyruvate. The ratios of the specific activities were 2.0:1.5:1.0:1.0:0.4, and the apparent Km values were 40, 50, 37, 56, and 1000 μM. The complex was separated into its component enzymes. The branched chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase (6 S) consists of two different subunits with estimated molecular weights of 46,000 and 35,000. The dihydrolipoyl transacylase (20 S) contains apparently identical subunits of molecular weight about 52,000. In the electron microscope, the transacylase has the appearance of a cube, and the molecules of branched chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase appear to be distributed on the surface of the cube. In contrast to the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex of bovine kidney, the branched chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase complex apparently is not regulated by phosphorylation-dephosphorylation. Its activity, however, is subject to modulation by end-product inhibition.

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