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Properties of the branched-chain 2-hydroxy acid/2-oxo acid shuttle in mouse spermatozoa.

  • C E Coronel
  • F G Gallina
  • N M Gerez de Burgos
  • C Burgos
  • A Blanco
Publication Date
May 01, 1986


Operation of the branched-chain 2-hydroxy acid/2-oxo acid shuttle for the transfer of reducing equivalents in mitochondria of mouse spermatozoa was studied in vitro in reconstituted systems. Results show that the branched-chain 2-oxo acids within the mitochondria are offered several metabolic pathways. (a) Decarboxylation: mouse sperm mitochondria possess high branched-chain 2-oxo acid decarboxylase activity. (b) Recycling to the cytosol by using a transport system which can be inhibited by alpha-cyano-3-hydroxycinnamate and pH 6.8. (c) Transamination to the corresponding amino acids: experiments presented indicate that leucine formed from 4-methyl-2-oxopentanoate may pass to the external phase, re-initiating the cycle. These two last possibilities would allow autocatalytic operation of the shuttle. The branched-chain 2-hydroxy acids apparently do not utilize the monocarboxylate carrier to penetrate the mitochondria.

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