February 1963

Transamidinase and Glutaminase Activity in Kidney Injury

Author Affiliations

Present Address: Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles (Dr. Levey).; From Western Reserve University, Department of Surgery, and University Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1963;86(2):209-213. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310080033008

In a continuing study1 of the effect of various types of injury on the activity of specific enzymes in the kidney, investigations were undertaken to determine the levels of renal transamidinase and glutaminase activity following various types of damage. These 2 enzymes appear in greater concentrations in kidney substance than at any other site. Transamidinase is found in mammalian kidney and is involved in transferring the guanidine group of arginine to glycine, thus forming guanidinoacetic acid. This latter substance can be methylated in the liver to form creatine. The enzyme glutaminase is responsible for the hydrolysis of the amide nitrogen of glutamine, yielding glutamic acid and ammonia. The amide group of glutamine is believed to be the major source of urinary ammonia.2 This enzyme also has been reported to be present in kidneys obtained from 52 different humans; however, it was not found in kidneys from individuals with

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