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

Activity of hepatic galactose-metabolizing enzymes in the pregnant rat and fetus.

The sp act of hepatic galactose-metabolizing enzymes, galactokinase, galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase, and uridine diphosphate-4-epimerase were measured in female rats during pregnancy and lactation as well as in fetuses and pups after parturition. Sp act for transferase and epimerase in pregnant rat liver are about 50% higher than that of virgin females, and with the increase in organ size during pregnancy the total hepatic activity is double that of nonpregnant animals. Galactokinase activity decreases somewhat during pregnancy, but total activity is 25% higher than in virgin liver. A Michaelis-Menten kinetic analysis of liver transferase indicates an increase in the maximum velocity of the reaction without a change in Km. Isoelectricfocusing on a high-resolution IEF gel demonstrated similar isozyme patterns. The sp act of the fetal liver enzymes increase to about twice that of the maternal tissue, but total activities are low due to the very small fetal liver size. Sp act of these enzymes in maternal liver fall after delivery, but sp act of galactokinase and transferase are programmed to increase in liver of the growing neonatal animals, reaching levels almost 5-fold higher than found in nonpregnant adult liver. An understanding of factors contributing to the enhanced transferase activity of the liver of pregnant and neonatal rats may contribute to possible ways of augmenting the residual transferase activity of patients with transferase-deficient galactosemia as a therapeutic strategy.[1]


  1. Activity of hepatic galactose-metabolizing enzymes in the pregnant rat and fetus. Rogers, S.R., Bovee, B.W., Saunders, S.L., Segal, S. Pediatr. Res. (1989) [Pubmed]
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