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

Pathways of acetoacetate's formation in liver and kidney.

Specifically 14C-labeled palmitic acids were perfused through livers and incubated with slices of kidneys from rats in diabetic ketosis. The distribution of 14C in the hydroxybutyric acid formed was determined. In liver, the ratio of incorporation of 14C from [13-14C]palmitic acid into carbon 1 to carbon 3 of the hydroxybutyric acid was the same as the ratio in carbon 2 to carbon 4 from [6-14C]palmitic acid. In kidney, the carbon 1-to-carbon 3 ratio was more than twice the carbon 2-to-carbon 4 ratio. In both tissues, 14C from [16-14C] palmitic acid was preferentially incorporated into carbon 4 compared to carbon 2 of the hydroxybutyric acid, but more so in liver than kidney. These results mean that in liver, the sole pathway of acetoacetate formation is via hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA, while in kidney it is not. Rather in kidney, acetoacetyl-CoA is converted to acetoacetate to a large extent by direct deacylation, presumably via a transferase- and/or deacylase-catalyzed reaction. In liver, most of the palmitic acid utilized is converted to acetoacetate while in kidney it is not. We previously estimated that, as a minimum, 11% of the hydroxybutyric acid excreted by the rat in diabetic ketosis is formed without hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA as an intermediate. The kidney appears to be the source of this hydroxybutyric acid if the pathways operative in these tissues in vitro are those that also operate in vivo.[1]


  1. Pathways of acetoacetate's formation in liver and kidney. Brady, P.S., Scofield, R.F., Ohgaku, S., Schumann, W.C., Bartsch, G.E., Margolis, J.M., Kumaran, K., Horvat, A., Mann, S., Landau, B.R. J. Biol. Chem. (1982) [Pubmed]
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