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2499 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 18/4/2021)


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amino acid degradation

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Amino acid degradation is a complex web of reactions. It is necessary because, unlike fats and carbohydrates, excess amino acids cannot be stored. The majority of amino acid degradation occurs in the liver and skeletal muscle.

Common end products include:

  • ammonia, which enters the urea cycle
  • short hydrocarbon chains which may then enter a number of alternative pathways including:
    • tricarboxylic acid cycle
    • gluconeogenesis
    • fatty acid and triglyceride synthesis
    • protein synthesis

Pathways of degradation include:

  • deamination
  • transamination
  • dehydration
  • desulphydration

Often, protein degradation is a necessary first step before amino acids are available for degradation.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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