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Lysine and glutamate transport in the erythrocytes of common brushtail possum, Tammar Wallaby and eastern grey, kangaroo.

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Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Azabu University, Kanagawa, Japan.


It was recently coincidentally discovered, using 1H NMR spectroscopy, that the erythrocytes of two species of Australian marsupials, Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and Bettong (Bettongia penicillata), contain relatively high concentrations of the essential amino acid lysine (Agar NS, Rae CD, Chapman BE, Kuchel PW. Comp Biochem Physiol 1991;99B:575-97). Hence, in the present work the rates of transport of lysine into the erythrocytes from the Common Brushtail Possum (Dactylopsilia trivirgata) and Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) (which both have low lysine concentrations), and Tammar Wallaby were studied, to explore the mechanistic basis of this finding. The concentration-dependence of the uptake was studied with lysine alone and in the presence of arginine, which may be a competitor of the transport in some species. In relation to GSH metabolism, glutamate uptake was determined in the presence and absence of Na+. The data was analysed to yield estimates of the maximal velocity (Vmax) and the Km in each of the species. Erythrocytes from Tammar Wallaby lacked saturable lysine transport in contrast to the other two species. The glutamate uptake was normal in all three animals for adequate GSH biosynthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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