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Eur J Biochem. 1982 Feb;122(2):423-7.

Citrate synthesis in intact rat-liver mitochondria is irreversible.


Rat-liver mitochondria were incubated with [1,5-14C]citrate in the presence of fluorocitrate to block its oxidation in the Krebs cycle. The reaction products were analysed enzymatically and by anion-exchange chromatography. Incorporation of 14C into acetyl-L-carnitine or ketone bodies via a backward action of citrate synthase was not observed. The optimal rate of citrate synthesis from pyruvate and malate in the presence of fluorocitrate was 15 nmol . mg-1 min-1. In the absence of fluorocitrate, but in the presence of malonate, citrate was oxidized to succinate at a rate of 4 nmol . mg-1 . min-1. We conclude that the synthesis of citrate by intact rat liver mitochondria is an irreversible process. The possible mechanism underlying this phenomenon and the consequence for metabolic regulation are discussed.

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