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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of arginase II and related enzymes in the rat small intestine and kidney.

Arginase, which catalyzes the conversion of arginine to urea and ornithine, and consists of a liver-type (arginase I) and a non-hepatic type (arginase II). Arginine is also used for the synthesis of nitric oxide and creatine phosphate, while ornithine is used for the synthesis of polyamines and proline, and thus collagen. Arginase II mRNA and protein are abundant in the intestine (most abundant in the jejunum and less abundant in the ileum, duodenum, and colon) and kidney of the rat. In the kidney, the levels of arginase II mRNA do not change appreciably from 0 to 8 weeks of age. In contrast, arginase II mRNA and protein in the small intestine are not detectable at birth, appear at 3 weeks of age, the weaning period, and their levels increase up to 8 weeks. On the other hand, mRNAs for ornithine aminotransferase (OAT), ornithine decarboxylase, and ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCT) are present at birth and their levels do not change much during development. Arginase II is elevated in response to a combination of bacterial lipopolysaccharide, dibutyryl cAMP, and dexamethasone in the kidney, but is not affected by these treatments in the small intestine. Immunohistochemical analysis of arginase II, OAT, and OCT in the jejunum revealed their co-localization in absorptive epithelial cells. These results show that the arginase II gene is regulated differentially in the small intestine and kidney, and suggest different roles of the enzyme in these two tissues. The co-localization of arginase II and the three ornithine-utilizing enzymes in the small intestine suggests that the enzyme is involved in the synthesis of proline, polyamines, and/or citrulline in this tissue.[1]


  1. Expression of arginase II and related enzymes in the rat small intestine and kidney. Ozaki, M., Gotoh, T., Nagasaki, A., Miyanaka, K., Takeya, M., Fujiyama, S., Tomita, K., Mori, M. J. Biochem. (1999) [Pubmed]
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