Species distribution and properties of hepatic phenylalanine (histidine):pyruvate aminotransferase

Hoppe Seylers Z Physiol Chem. 1977 Jan;358(1):59-67. doi: 10.1515/bchm2.1977.358.1.59.


Hepatic phenylalanine(histidine):pyruvate aminotransferase activity is much higher in the mouse and rat than in other animal species (human, guinea-pig, rabbit, pig, dog and chicken). The activity is elevated in the mouse and rat by the injection of glucagon but not in other species (guinea-pig, rabbit and chicken). The enzyme was purified from the mitochondrial fraction of mouse liver to homogeneity as judged by polyacrylamide disc gel electrophoresis in the presence of dodecylsulphate. With histidine as amino donor, the enzyme was active with pyruvate, oxaloacetate and hydroxypyruvate as amino acceptors but not with 2-oxoglutarate. Effective amino donors were histidine, phenylalanine and tyrosine with pyruvate, and methionine, serine and glutamine with phenylpyruvate. The apparent Km for histidine was about 6.9 mM with pyruvate and that for pyruvate was 21 mM with histidine. The enzyme is probably composed of two identical subunits with a molecular weight of approximately 40000. The pH optimum was near 9.0. Isoelectric focusing of the purified enzyme resulted in the detection of four forms with pI 6.0, 6.2, 6.5 and 6.7, respectively, all of which were responsive to glucagon. These four forms were nearly identical with the purified enzyme before the focusing with respect to physical and enzymic properties. A possible mechanism of this multiplicity is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Chloromercuribenzoates / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Glucagon / pharmacology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Histidine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Isoelectric Point
  • Kinetics
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Methionine / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phenylalanine / metabolism*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Swine
  • Transaminases / metabolism*


  • Chloromercuribenzoates
  • Phenylalanine
  • Histidine
  • Glucagon
  • Methionine
  • Transaminases