We have hypothesized that rat liver serine dehydratase (SDH) is induced in response to the amount of surplus amino acids from dietary protein. In the present study, we found that excess leucine intake strongly induced SDH activity in the liver but not in the kidney of rats. The increase in activity was accompanied by increases in the levels of SDH mRNA. On the other hand, isoleucine and valine had little effect on SDH induction. These results support our hypothesis and suggest that leucine is a signal for SDH induction.