A colorimetric 96-well microtiter plate assay for the determination of enzymatically formed citrulline

Anal Biochem. 2000 Nov 15;286(2):257-64. doi: 10.1006/abio.2000.4805.


l-Citrulline constitutes a product of a number of enzymatic reactions. In the past a number of colorimetric methods for the determination of l-citrulline, upon its chemical modification with diacetyl monoxime at 95 degrees C, have been reported. However, all these methods are time- and material-consuming. In this work, using the same chemical reaction, a new method for the use in 96-well polystyrene microtiter plates was developed. The method is fast and requires substantially less material as the enzymatic reaction is performed in a volume of 60 microl. The applicability of this enzymatic assay was established using l-N(omega), N(omega)-dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase, which generates l-citrulline from side-chain methylated derivatives of l-arginine. The detection limit for l-citrulline is about 0.2 nmol. In addition, our studies show that most commonly used biochemical buffers and buffer additives do not affect the assay. This method may prove useful in the studies of other l-citrulline producing enzymes including nitric oxide synthase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amidohydrolases*
  • Animals
  • Buffers
  • Cattle
  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / instrumentation
  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / methods
  • Citrulline / analysis*
  • Citrulline / biosynthesis
  • Colorimetry / instrumentation
  • Colorimetry / methods*
  • Coloring Agents
  • Hydrolases / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Buffers
  • Coloring Agents
  • Citrulline
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Hydrolases
  • Amidohydrolases
  • dimethylargininase