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J Biol Chem. 1981 Mar 25;256(6):2618-20.

L-Leucine activates branched chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase in rat adipose tissue.


The activity of branched chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase in extracts of adipose tissue was elevated after homogenization of tissue segments which had been incubated in buffer containing 0.3 mM leucine. A maximum increase (4-fold) was observed in extracts of tissues incubated in buffer containing 2.5 mM leucine, alpha-Ketoisocaproate and leucine caused maximum increases which were of similar magnitude and which required the same length of incubation of the tissue segments (5 to 15 min). The effect of leucine on branched chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase activity was observed both in the presence and absence of insulin, which also increased the activity of the enzyme in tissue extracts. Intact adipose tissue segments oxidized [I-14C]leucine at a maximum rate approximately 4 times that of [1-(14)C]valine. The rate of valine oxidation by intact tissue segments was doubled by addition of 0.2 to 0.5 mM unlabeled leucine, but not isoleucine, to medium containing 2 mM [1-(14)C]valine. Leucine, but not valine, also stimulated the rate of oxidation of 2 mM [U-14C]isoleucine by intact tissue segments. These results suggest that branched chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase activity, which is thought to limit the rate of branched chain amino acid oxidation in adipose tissue, may be sensitive to changes in the concentration of leucine in rat blood.

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