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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1984 Nov 28;802(2):229-36.

Formation of glycine and aminoacetone from L-threonine by rat liver mitochondria.


Threonine is a precursor of glycine in the rat, but the metabolic pathway involved is unclear. To elucidate this pathway, the biosynthesis of glycine, and of aminoacetone, from L-threonine were studied in rat liver mitochondrial preparations of differing integrities. In the absence of added cofactors, intact mitochondria formed glycine and aminoacetone in approximately equal amounts from 20 mM L-threonine, but exogenous NAD+ decreased and CoA increased the ratio of glycine to aminoacetone formed. In intact and freeze-thawed mitochondria, the ratio of glycine to aminoacetone formed was markedly sensitive to the concentration of L-threonine, glycine being the major product at low L-threonine concentrations. Disruption of mitochondrial integrity by sonication (1 min) decreased the ratio of glycine to aminoacetone formed, and in 20000 X g supernatant fractions from sonicated (3 min) mitochondria, aminoacetone was the major product. The main non-nitogenous two-carbon compound detected when intact mitochondria catabolized L-threonine to glycine was acetate, which was probably derived from deacylation of acetyl-CoA. These results suggest that glycine formation from L-threonine in rat liver mitochondria occurred primarily by the coupled activities of threonine dehydrogenase and 2-amino-3-oxobutyrate CoA-ligase, the extent of coupling between the enzymes being dependent upon a close physical relationship and upon the flux through the dehydrogenase reaction. In vivo glycine synthesis would predominate, and aminoacetone would be a minor product.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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