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

Mechanism of increased conversion of branched chain keto acid dehydrogenase from inactive to active form by a medium chain fatty acid (octanoate) in skeletal muscle.

We and others have previously shown that octanoate increases the oxidation of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) in skeletal muscle. The present study was designed to investigate the mechanism of this increased oxidation. Studies were performed with rat hind limbs perfused with 0.50 mM L-[1-14C]leucine with or without octanoate. The flux through branched chain keto acid (BCKA) dehydrogenase was measured, and the basal and total activity of BCKA dehydrogenase in skeletal muscle was determined. The rate of flux through BCKA dehydrogenase increased by 37, 119, and 297% with 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mM octanoate, respectively. This increase in flux was not due to a change in BCAA aminotransferase activity but was due to an increase in the basal activity of BCKA dehydrogenase. There was a strong correlation (r = 0.96) between increases in flux through BCKA dehydrogenase and increases in the basal activities of BCKA dehydrogenase. Preincubation of BCKA dehydrogenase with Mg2+ caused full activation of this enzyme, but preincubation with octanoate did not activate this enzyme. On the other hand, octanoate completely prevented the ATP-dependent inactivation of fully activated BCKA dehydrogenase. We conclude that octanoate increases the oxidation of leucine in skeletal muscle by increasing the activation of BCKA dehydrogenase. The mechanism of this activation is the inhibition of BCKA dehydrogenase kinase rather than the stimulation of a specific or nonspecific protein phosphatase.[1]


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