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Anal Biochem. 1988 Oct;174(1):88-96.

Apparent ornithine decarboxylase activity, measured by 14CO2 trapping, after frozen storage of rat tissue and rat tissue supernatants.

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Division of Toxicology, Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, Maryland 20708.


Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity of rat tissues was measured by the standard 14CO2 trapping method after frozen storage (-60 or -70 degrees C) of the tissues or their 105,000g supernatants. True ODC activity was determined by two methods: (a) addition of the inhibitors alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), a specific irreversible inhibitor of ODC, or aminooxyacetate (AOA), an inhibitor that blocks the decarboxylation of ornithine by mitochondrial enzymes; and (b) chromatographic analysis of the reaction products. In the frozen supernatants of liver and spleen, ODC activity changed only slightly after 1 day but increased 29 and 14%, respectively, by 30 days; activity in kidney supernatant decreased 17% after 1 day and remained near that level at 30 days. Kidney and spleen ODC activity was inhibited 90-100% by DFMO, but apparent liver ODC activity was inhibited only 60-75%. In the supernatant prepared from tissue stored frozen for 1 day, apparent ODC activity in liver increased 500% over that activity in the freshly prepared supernatant; at 23 days, apparent activity increased 755% for liver and 121% for kidney. After 23 days, DFMO did not inhibit apparent ODC activity in supernatants from frozen liver and inhibited ODC in frozen kidney by only 49%. With AOA, the ODC activities of the fresh and frozen supernatants were similar, indicating that the large increase in apparent ODC activity in frozen tissue was due to artifacts from the metabolism of ornithine via the mitochondrial pathway. HPLC analysis of the reaction products resulting from the incubation of uniformly labeled [14C]ornithine with the fresh and frozen preparations indicated no increase in putrescine with the frozen preparation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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