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The Journal of biological chemistry

Transamination of neutral amino acids and 2-keto acids in pancreatic B-cell mitochondria.


PMID 2864344

Abstract

High aminotransferase activities catalyzing the reactions between L-glutamate and L-glutamine and the aliphatic ketomonocarboxylic acids 2-ketoisocaproate, 2-ketocaproate, and 2-ketoisovalerate were observed in pancreatic B-cell mitochondria. While maximal rates of transamination with L-glutamate were observed in the presence of micromolar concentrations of keto acid, maximal rates of transamination with L-glutamine were recorded only in the presence of millimolar concentrations of keto acid. The insulin secretagogue 2-ketoisocaproate was the most effective transamination partner for L-glutamate, while the insulin secretagogue 2-ketocaproate was the most effective transamination partner for L-glutamine. Since B-cell mitochondria are well supplied with L-glutamate and L-glutamine, 2-ketoglutarate generation in the presence of these two neutral 2-keto acids may be an important prerequisite for their insulin secretory potency. High rates of transamination of 2-ketoglutarate were observed in the pancreatic B-cell mitochondria with the branched-chain amino acids L-leucine and L-valine, but not with L-norleucine. In connection with the ability of L-leucine to activate glutamate dehydrogenase, this high activity of the branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase in pancreatic B-cell mitochondria may provide an explanation for the insulin secretory potency of this amino acid.

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