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  Amino Acid Catabolism: N  Copyright © 1999-2008 by Joyce J. Diwan. All rights reserved. Molecular Biochemistry II  There are multiple transaminase enzymes which vary in   substrate specificity . Some show preference for particular amino acids  or classes of amino acids as amino group donors, and/or for  particular -keto acid acceptors . H R 1  C COO -  + R 2 C COO -  NH 3+  O Transaminase H R 1  C COO -  + R 2 C COO -  O NH 3+ Transaminases  (aminotransferases) catalyze the reversible reaction at right.  Example of a Transaminase  reaction:  Aspartate donates its amino group, becoming the a -keto acid oxaloacetate.   a -Ketoglutarate accepts the amino group,  becoming the amino acid glutamate. aspartate a -ketoglutarate oxaloacetate glutamate Aminotransferase (Transaminase) COO  CH 2 CH 2 CCOO  OCOO  CH 2 HCCOO  NH 3+ COO  CH 2 CH 2 HCCOO  NH 3+ COO  CH 2 CCOO  O + +  In another example, alanine becomes pyruvate as the amino group is transferred to a -ketoglutarate. alanine a -ketoglutarate pyruvate glutamate Aminotransferase (Transaminase) COO  CH 2 CH 2 CCOO  OCH 3 HCCOO  NH 3+ COO  CH 2 CH 2 HCCOO  NH 3+ CH 3 CCOO  O + +
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