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Biochim Biophys Acta 1977 Jun 10;4822:453-60.
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Kynureninase-type enzymes and the evolution of the aerobic tryptophan-to-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide pathway.

Gaertner FH , Shetty AS .

Kynureninase-type (L-kynurenine hydrolase, EC activity has been found to be present in the livers of fish, amphibia, reptiles, and birds. In addition to past information concerning this enzyme activity in mammalian liver, it is now clear that all the major classes of vertebrates carry a highly specialized kynureninase-type enzyme, which we have termed a hydroxykynureninase. To compare the reactivities of these enzymes with L-kynurenine and L-3-hydroxykynurenine, ratios of tau values (Km/V) were used. Based on this comparison, the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens carries the most efficient kynureninase, whereas the amphibian Xenopus laevis has the most efficient hydroxykynureniase. In these two cases, the ratio of tau values differs by a factor of 38 000. It is hypothesized that the tryptophan-to-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide biosynthetic pathway evolved from a catabolic system of enzymes, and that the differences observed in the kynureninase-type enzymes between lower and higher organisms reflect the specialization of the function of these enzymes from a strictly catabolic role to an anabolic one during the course of evolution.

PubMed ID: 195620
Article link: Biochim Biophys Acta

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: mapt