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J Biol Chem. 1983 Sep 10;258(17):10511-7.

Similarity of the oxidation products of L-cystathionine by L-amino acid oxidase to those excreted by cystathioninuric patients.


L-Cystathionine is oxidized by snake venom L-amino acid oxidase at a rate about half that with L-leucine at pH 8.5. The appearance of an absorbance at 296 nm and quantitation of the products of oxidation in the presence of catalase indicate formation in the solutions of a seven-membered ketimine ring produced by cyclization of the monoamino monoketo derivative of cystathionine. A limited double deamination has also been observed. In the absence of catalase, S-(carboxymethyl)homocysteine and S-(beta-carboxyethyl)cysteine have been identified together with ninhydrin-unreactive compounds yielding the above mentioned carboxy compounds upon hydrolysis with HCl. Authentic samples of the monoamino monoketo analogs of cystathionine have been prepared and compared with the enzymatic products. Cyclization of the synthetic products into the ketimine ring is pH-dependent as established by UV spectrum and other assays. Compounds derived from either the oxidation or the reduction of the ketimine have been prepared. It was found that many products of enzymatic and chemical changes of cystathionine and its ketimine described in the present paper are identical with those identified in the urine of cystathioninuric patients. This result indicates the occurrence in humans of secondary metabolic routes of cystathionine centered on the production of cystathionine ketimine, in equilibrium with the open form, which in cystathioninurics is revealed by the lack of cystathionase.

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