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Biochem J. 1976 Jul 15;158(1):79-88.

Animal liver tryptophan pyrrolases: Absence of apoenzyme and of hormonal induction mechanism from species sensitive to tryptophan toxicity.


1. Liver tryptophan pyrrolase exists as holoenzyme and apoenzyme in rat, mouse, pig, turkey, chicken and possibly man. 2. The apoenzyme is absent from cat, frog, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, ox, sheep and rabbit. 3. The hormonal mechanism of induction of the pyrrolase is absent from species lacking the apoenzyme. 4. The concentrations of tryptophan in livers and sera of these species are lower than in species possessing the apoenzyme. 5. Species lacking the apoenzyme or the hormonal induction mechanism have a deficient kynurenine pathway and are sensitive to the toxicity of tryptophan. 6. It is suggested that these species are not suitable as models for studying human tryptophan metabolism. 7. The possible significance of these findings in relation to veterinary and human neonatal care is discussed.

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