Determination of Branched-Chain α-Keto Acid Dehydrogenase Activity in Rat Tissues

  • Kim, Hyun-Sook (Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Home Economics, Sookmyung Women's University) ;
  • Johnson, Wayne A. (Department of Human Nutrition and Food Management The Ohio State University)
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  • Accepted : 0
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The branched-chain ${\alpha}$-keto acid dehydrogenase (BCKAD) complex is a rate limiting enzyme which catalyzes the oxidative decarboxylation of branched-chain ${\alpha}$-keto acids. Numerous studies have suggested that BCKAD is subject to covalent modification in vitro via phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, which are catalyzed by a specific kinase and phosphatase, respectively. The biggest difficulty in the assay of BCKAD activity is to arrest the interconversion between the active and inactive forms. BCKAD activity was determined from fresh rat heart and liver tissues using homogenizing and assay buffers containing inhibitors of phosphatase and kinase. The results suggest that a radiochemical assay using ${\alpha}$-keto[1-$^{14}C$]-isovalerate as a substrate for the enzyme can be applied as a reliable method to determine in vitro enzyme activity with arrested interconversion between the active and inactive forms of the BCKAD complex.