Role of pancreatic L-asparagine synthetase in homeostasis of L-asparagine

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L-Asparagine synthetase from mouse pancreas was found to be associated principally with the exocrine pancreas and to be dependent on the age of the animal, but not on gender, diet, or the presence of tumor under the conditions examined. The function of the pancreatic enzyme appears to be to supply L-asparagine for the synthesis of pancreatic proteins. This function is suggested by the high specific activity of L-asparagine in pancreatic proteins after intravenous treatment of BDF1 mice with L-[U-14C]aspartate. The pancreas is also able to function as a storage depot for L-asparagine under conditions in which the concentration of the amino acid in the blood is in excess. Unlike the liver, the pancreas is unable to add L-asparagine to the circulation when the concentration of the amide is below normal limits.

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American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology Metabolism and Gastrointestinal Physiology

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