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Extra resources for Advances in protein chemistry. / Volume 9

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A number of substances, all of which can give rise to formaldehyde and formate, have been found t o be precursors of the 0-carbon atom of serine (for a summary of the known precursors see Fig. 3, and Arnstein and Neuberger, 1953a). As will be shown later, these precursors are probably first converted into a common ((active”formaldehyde derivstive, but the extent to which the different precursors contribute to this reaction in vivo is difficult to assess. It is likely that the essential amino acids histidine, tryptophan, and methionine are used primarily for protein synthesis and are degraded to one-carbon fragments only to a limited extent, unless fed in excessive amounts.

Body weight) are fed to rats, the methylene group of glycine becomes an important precursor of the @-carbon atom of serine (Sakami, 1949), the over-all reaction consisting practically in the formation of one molecule of serine from two of glycine by an oxidative deamination and decarboxylation of one molecule : +302 2 C H Z N H ~ * C O -NHa ~H , -coi CHzOH CHNHz- C02H. Since the cona version of the a-carbon atom of glycine into the &carbon atom of serine is normally unimportant, one of the intermediate steps must be a relatively slow reaction.

Per rat. 8 g. 1 g. 9 g. or about 48 mg. 8 millimole per day per 100 g. body weight). 34 H . R. V . 6 mg. glycine per day per 100 g. body weight). In these calculations no allowance has been made for the amount of serine in the diet. 9 % (Rees, 1946) and rat body protein about 5 % (Sauberlich and Baumann, 1951) of serine. The djfference between the amount of serine eaten and that required for protein synthesis may be calculated to be approximately 75 mg. or the equivalent of 56 mg. of glycine per rat per day.

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