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

Comparative metabolism of linamarin and amygdalin in hamsters.

Rates of cyanide liberation resulting from hydrolysis of the cyanogenic glycosides linamarin, amygdalin and prunasin by a crude beta-glucosidase prepared from hamster caecum were studied in vitro. In addition, hamster blood cyanide and thiocyanate concentrations were determined at 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 4 hr after an oral dose of 0.44 mmol linamarin or amygdalin/kg body weight. Plots of cyanide liberated v. time for linamarin and prunasin yielded straight lines. A similar plot for amygdalin was curvilinear, with the rate of cyanide release increasing with time. At 10(-3) M substrate concentrations, the average rates of hydrolysis of prunasin, amygdalin and linamarin were 1.39, 0.57 and 0.13 nmol/min/mg protein, respectively. Lineweaver-Burk plots yielded apparent Km and Vmax values of 3.63 X 10(-5) M and 0.35 nmol/min/mg protein, respectively, for amygdalin, and 7.33 X 10(-3) M and 1.04 nmol/min/mg protein, respectively, for linamarin. Blood cyanide concentrations following amygdalin treatment reached their highest level (130 nmol/ml) 1 hr after dosing and remained elevated until 3 hr after treatment. Blood cyanide concentrations following linamarin treatment reached their highest level (116 nmol/ml) after 3 hr and then declined immediately. Area under the blood cyanide concentration-time curve was 395 nmol-hr/ml for amygdalin and 318 nmol-hr/ml for linamarin. The results suggest a faster rate of enzymatic hydrolysis and cyanide absorption for amygdalin than for linamarin.[1]


  1. Comparative metabolism of linamarin and amygdalin in hamsters. Frakes, R.A., Sharma, R.P., Willhite, C.C. Food Chem. Toxicol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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