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

Relationships between pyruvate decarboxylation and branched-chain volatile acid synthesis in Ascaris mitochondria.

The rate of 14CO2 evolution from 1-[14C]pyruvate by intact Ascaris mitochondria was very slow, but increased with increasing concentrations of pyruvate. At all concentrations of pyruvate, in an aerobic environment, pyruvate decarboxylation was stimulated greatly by the addition of fumarate, malate, or succinate. However, under anaerobic conditions, only malate and fumarate stimulated pyruvate decarboxylation; succinate had no effect. This implies that the aerobic metabolism of succinate, presumably to other dicarboxylic acids, may be required for the stimulation. Incubation of sonicated mitochondria with pyruvate plus fumarate, under rate-limiting concentrations of NAD+, resulted in approximately equal quantities of pyruvate utilized and succinate formed, suggesting that pyruvate oxidation and fumarate reduction may be linked. Branched-chain, volatile fatty acids were not formed during incubations with either malate or succinate, or succinate plus acetate. However, incubations of intact Ascaris mitochondria with pyruvate plus succinate yielded 2-methylbutyrate and 2-methylvalerate, whereas incubations with pyruvate plus propionate yielded almost exclusively 2-methylvalerate. Oxygen dramatically inhibited the synthesis of the branched-chain acids from succinate plus pyruvate, attesting to the apparent anaerobic nature of Ascaris mitochondrial metabolism. Significantly, the addition of glucose plus ADP stimulated the formation of all volatile fatty acids. Therefore, the synthesis of branched-chain acids may be related directly to increased energy generation. Alternatively, they may function in the regulatory role of maintaining the mitochondrial redox balance.[1]


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