Role of branched-chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase and pyruvate dehydrogenase in 2-oxobutyrate metabolism

Biochem J. 1986 Mar 1;234(2):295-303. doi: 10.1042/bj2340295.


Purified branched-chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase (BCODH) and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) had apparent Km values (microM) for 2-oxobutyrate of 26 and 114, with a relative Vmax. (% of Vmax. for 3-methyl-2-oxobutyrate and pyruvate) of 38 and 45% respectively. The phosphorylation state of both complexes in extracts of mitochondria from rat liver, kidney, heart and skeletal muscle was shown to influence oxidative decarboxylation of 2-oxobutyrate. Inhibitory antibodies to BCODH and an inhibitor of PDH (3-fluoropyruvate) were used with mitochondrial extracts to determine the relative contribution of both complexes to oxidative decarboxylation of 2-oxobutyrate. Calculated rates of 2-oxobutyrate decarboxylation in mitochondrial extracts, based on the kinetic constants given above and the activities of both complexes, were the same as the measured rates. Hydroxyapatite chromatography of extracts of mitochondria from rat liver revealed only two peaks of oxidative decarboxylation of 2-oxobutyrate, with one peak associated with PDH and the other with BCODH. Competition studies with various 2-oxo acids revealed a different inhibition pattern with mitochondrial extracts from liver compared with those from heart or skeletal muscle. We conclude that both intramitochondrial complexes are responsible for oxidative decarboxylation of 2-oxobutyrate. However, the BCODH is probably the more important complex, particularly in liver, on the basis of kinetic analyses, activity or phosphorylation state of both complexes, competition studies, and the apparent physiological concentration of pyruvate, 2-oxobutyrate and the branched-chain 2-oxo acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3-Methyl-2-Oxobutanoate Dehydrogenase (Lipoamide)
  • Acetoacetates / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Butyrates / metabolism*
  • Ketone Oxidoreductases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ketone Oxidoreductases / immunology
  • Ketone Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Multienzyme Complexes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Multienzyme Complexes / immunology
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphorylation
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Acetoacetates
  • Butyrates
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex
  • acetoacetic acid
  • Ketone Oxidoreductases
  • 3-Methyl-2-Oxobutanoate Dehydrogenase (Lipoamide)