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Biochem J. 1968 Jul;108(3):353-61.

Activity and intracellular distribution of enzymes of ketone-body metabolism in rat liver.


1. The activities of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase and lyase in rat liver were found to be two- to 15-fold greater than those reported by other authors under similar conditions. 2. When expressed on the basis of body weight, no appreciable differences were found between the activities of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase in whole homogenates of livers from normal and starved rats. The synthase activity increased by 70% and 140% in livers of alloxan-diabetic rats and rats fed on a high-fat diet respectively. 3. Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA lyase activity showed no significant increases in starvation or alloxan-diabetes, but a 40% increase was found in fat-fed rats. 4. Less than 12% of the activities of both enzymes were found in the cytoplasmic fraction of normal liver. The cytoplasmic activity doubled in alloxan-diabetes and starvation; on feeding with a high-fat diet the increase, though significant, was less marked. 6. The intracellular distribution of glutamate dehydrogenase indicated that the changes in the cytoplasmic activities observed were not due to leakage from the mitochondria. 7. Feeding with a normal or high-fat diet after 48hr. starvation caused within 24hr. a decrease in the cytoplasmic activity of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase to values lower than those found in rats fed on a corresponding diet for a longer period of time. 8. Acetoacetyl-CoA deacylase activity in liver was about 20% of that of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase and was primarily located in the cytoplasm. Starvation or alloxan-diabetes did not alter the acetoacetyl-CoA deacylase activity. 9. It is concluded that variations in the concentrations of enzymes involved in acetoacetate synthesis play no major role in the regulation of ketone-body formation in starvation and alloxan-diabetes. The changes in the cytoplasmic activities of hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase and lyase suggest that acetoacetate synthesis can occur in the cytoplasm. This may play a role in the disposal of surplus acetyl-CoA arising in the cytoplasm when lipogenesis is inhibited.

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