Carbohydrate Metabolism

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EXPERIMENTS which have been in progress in this laboratory during the past six months have had results very similar to those described by Krebs1 in a recent letter. The formation of -ketoglutaric acid in the course of pyruvic acid oxidation was made very probable by my earlier results2. In recent experiments the formation of succinic acid from pyruvic acid, acetic acid and -ketoglutaric acid could be demonstrated both anærobieally in minced brain and ærobically in the minced brain poisoned with malonic acid. Two explanations of these facts are possible: (1) there are two alternative paths of succinic acid formation from pyruvic acid, one leading to -ketoglutaric acid by the condensation of two molecules of pyruvic acid and subsequent decarboxylation2, the other starting with decarboxylation of pyruvic acid to acetic acid and subsequent condensation of two molecules of acetic acid3; (2) -ketoglutaric acid is formed by condensation of one molecule of pyruvic acid and one molecule of acetic acid. It has not yet been possible to decide which is correct.

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  1. 1

    Krebs, NATURE, 138, 288 (1936).

  2. 2

    Weil-Malherbe, Biochem. J., 30, 665 (1936).

  3. 3

    Thunberg, Skand. Arch. Physiol., 40, 1 (1920).

  4. 4

    Reid, Biochem. Z., 242, 159 (1931).

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