Precursor pools of protein synthesis: A stable isotope study in a swine model

P. Q. Baumann, W. S. Stirewalt, B. D. O'Rourke, D. Howard, K. S. Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


The accuracy of using other free pools in lieu of tRNA for calculation of tissue protein synthesis in liver (L), skeletal muscle (SM), and heart (H) was assessed in six adult miniature swine using L-[1-13C]leucine and L- [ring-2H5]phenylalanine as tracers. L leucyl-tRNA enrichment was higher than arterial plasma leucine and ketoisocaproate (KIC) enrichments, and L phenylalanyl-tRNA enrichment was higher than arterial phenylalanine enrichment (P < 0.05). No such differences were noted in SM and H. Leucyl and phenylalanyl-tRNA enrichments in L were best predicted by the respective amino acid enrichments in tissue fluid [TF; Leu; slope (m) = 0.954 ± 0.035; Phe: m = 1.011 ± 0.032] using linear regression analysis to determine the accuracy of the prediction, whereas plasma phenylalanine reasonably predicted phenylalanyl-tRNA (artery: m = 0.821 ± 0.032; vein: m = 0.947 ± 0.135). In SM, plasma KIC (artery: m = 0.846 ± 0.046; vein: m = 0.881 ± 0.043) and TF leucine (m = 0.788 ± 0.034) predicted leucyl-tRNA with high accuracy. In H tissue, TF (m = 0.991 ± 0.044) was the best predictor of leucyl-tRNA enrichment, whereas arterial phenylalanine (m = 0.912 ± 0.015) was the most reliable predictor of phenylalanyl-tRNA enrichment. The relationships between aminoacyl-tRNA and other free pools in the same species under the same study conditions differ in different tissues. Use of KIC in lieu of leucyl-tRNA for calculating muscle protein synthesis is supported by this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E203-E209
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 30-2
StatePublished - 1994


  • amino acids
  • aminoacyl-transfer
  • ribonucleic acid
  • tissue extracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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