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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jul;277(1):E144-53. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1999.277.1.E144.

Effects of nonsulfur and sulfur amino acids on the regulation of hepatic enzymes of cysteine metabolism.

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Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


To determine the role of nonsulfur vs. sulfur amino acids in regulation of cysteine metabolism, rats were fed a basal diet or diets supplemented with a mixture of nonsulfur amino acids (AA), sulfur amino acids (SAA), or both for 3 wk. Hepatic cysteine-sulfinate decarboxylase (CSDC), cysteine dioxygenase (CDO), and gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS) activity, concentration, and mRNA abundance were measured. Supplementation with AA alone had no effect on any of these measures. Supplementation of the basal diet with SAA, with or without AA, resulted in a higher CDO concentration (32-45 times basal), a lower CSDC mRNA level (49-64% of basal), and a lower GCS-heavy subunit mRNA level (70-76%). The presence of excess SAA and AA together resulted in an additional type of regulation: a lower specific activity of all three enzymes was observed in rats fed diets with an excess of AA and SAA. Both SAA and AA played a role in regulation of these three enzymes of cysteine metabolism, but SAA had the dominant effects, and effects of AA were not observed in the absence of SAA.

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