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Comp Biochem Physiol B. 1985;82(2):307-15.

Submitochondrial localization of arginase and other enzymes associated with urea synthesis and nitrogen metabolism, in liver of Squalus acanthias.


The submitochondrial localization of the four mitochondrial enzymes associated with urea synthesis in liver of Squalus acanthias (spiny dogfish), a representative elasmobranch, was determined. Glutamine- and acetylglutamate-dependent carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase, ornithine carbamoyltransferase, glutamine synthetase, and arginase were all localized within the matrix of liver mitochondria. The subcellular and submitochondrial localization and activities of several related enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism and gluconeogenesis in liver and dogfish are also reported. Pyruvate carboxylase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase were localized in the mitochondrial matrix. Synthesis of citrulline by isolated mitochondria from ornithine proceeds at a near optimal rate at ornithine concentrations as low as 0.08 mM. The same stoichiometry and rates of citrulline synthesis are observed when ornithine is replaced by arginine. The mitochondrial location of arginase does not appear to reflect a mechanism for regulating ornithine availability.

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