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

An improved assay for pyruvate dehydrogenase in liver and heart.

A radiochemical assay was developed to measure pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) activity in liver and heart without interference by branched-chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase (BCODH). Decarboxylation of pyruvate by BCODH was eliminated by using low pyruvate concentration (0.5 mM), a preferred substrate for BCODH (3-methyl-2-oxopentanoate) that is not used by PDC, and a competitive inhibitor of BCODH, dichloroacetate. This method was validated by assaying a combination of both purified enzymes and tissue homogenates with known amounts of added BCODH. The actual percentage of active PDC decreased after 48 h starvation from 13.6 to 3.1 in liver and from 77.1 to 9.0 in heart. Total PDC activity (munits of PDC/units of citrate synthase) in starved rats was increased by 34% in liver and decreased by 23% in heart. Total PDC activity (munits/g wet wt.) in fed- and starved-rat liver was 0.8 and 1.3, and in heart was 6.6 and 5.8, respectively.[1]


  1. An improved assay for pyruvate dehydrogenase in liver and heart. Paxton, R., Sievert, L.M. Biochem. J. (1991) [Pubmed]
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