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Biochem J. 1989 Aug 15;262(1):159-64.

Treatment of rats with glucagon or mannoheptulose increases mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase activity and decreases succinyl-CoA content in liver.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, U.K.


1. The activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) synthase (EC in extracts of rapidly frozen rat livers was doubled in animals treated in various ways to increase ketogenic flux. 2. Some 90% of the activity measured was mitochondrial, and changes in mitochondrial activity dominated changes in total enzyme activity. 3. The elevated HMG-CoA synthase activities persisted throughout the isolation of liver mitochondria. 4. Intramitochondrial succinyl-CoA content was lower in whole liver homogenates and in mitochondria isolated from animals treated with glucagon or mannoheptulose. 5. HMG-CoA synthase activity in mitochondria from both ox and rat liver was negatively correlated with intramitochondrial succinyl-CoA levels when these were manipulated artificially. Under these conditions, the differences between mitochondria from control and hormone-treated rats were abolished. 6. These findings show that glucagon can decrease intramitochondrial succinyl-CoA concentration, and that this in turn can regulate mitochondrial HMG-CoA synthase. They support the hypothesis that the formation of ketone bodies from acetyl-CoA may be regulated by the extent of succinylation of mitochondrial HMG-CoA synthase.

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