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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Oct 23;1425(2):273-81.

In vitro assessment of salvage pathways for pyrimidine bases in rat liver and brain.

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Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Pisa, Via S. Maria 55, 56126 Pisa, Italy.


In this paper we extend our previous observation on the mobilization of the ribose moiety from guanosine to xanthine catalyzed by rat liver extracts (Giorgelli et al., Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1335 (1997) 16-22). The data show that in rat liver and brain extracts the activated ribose, stemming from inosine and guanosine phosphorolysis as ribose 1-phosphate, can be used to salvage uracil to uracil nucleotides. Uridine is an intermediate. The salvage process occurs even in the presence of excess inorganic phosphate suggesting that uridine phosphorylase may function in vivo as an anabolic enzyme. Ribose 5-phosphate cannot substitute for inosine, guanosine or ribose 1-phosphate as ribose donor. When inorganic phosphate was substituted with arsenate, hindering the formation of ribose 1-phosphate, no ribose transfer could be observed. A similar pathway occurs at the deoxy level. The deoxyribose moiety of deoxyinosine can be used to salvage thymine to thymine nucleotides, again in the presence of excess inorganic phosphate. Our results introduce a novel aspect of the salvage pathway, in which ribose 1-phosphate seems to play a pivotal role.

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