1. The contents of some intermediates of glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and adenine nucleotides have been measured in the freeze-clamped locust flight muscle at rest and after 10s and 3min flight. The contents of glucose 6-phosphate, pyruvate, alanine and especially fructose bisphosphate and triose phosphates increased markedly upon flight. The content of acetyl-CoA is decreased after 3min flight whereas that of acetylcarnitine is decreased markedly after 10s flight, but returns towards the resting value after 3min flight. The content of citrate is markedly decreased after both 10s and 3min flight, whereas that of isocitrate is changed very little after 10s and is increased by 50% after 3min. The content of oxaloacetate is very low in insect flight muscle and hence it was measured by a sensitive radiochemical assay. The content of oxaloacetate increased about 2-fold after 3min flight. A similar change was observed in the content of malate. The content of ATP decreased about 15%, whereas those of ADP and AMP increased about 2-fold after 3min flight. 2. Calculations based on O2 uptake of the intact insect indicate that the rate of the citric acid cycle must be increased >100-fold during flight. Consequently, if citrate synthase catalyses a non-equilibrium reaction, the activity of the enzyme must increase >100-fold during flight. However, changes in the concentrations of possible regulators of citrate synthase, oxaloacetate, acetyl-CoA and citrate (which is an allosteric inhibitor), are not sufficient to account for this change in activity. It is concluded that there may be much larger changes in the free concentration of oxaloacetate than are indicated by the changes in the total content of this metabolite or that other unknown factors must play an additional role in the regulation of citrate synthase activity. 3. The increased content of oxaloacetate could be produced via pyruvate carboxylase, which may be stimulated during the early stages of flight by the increased concentration of pyruvate. 4. The decreases in the concentrations of citrate and α-oxoglutarate indicate that isocitrate dehydrogenase and oxoglutarate dehydrogenase may be stimulated by factors other than their pathway substrates during the early stages of flight. 5. Calculated mitochondrial and cytosolic NAD+/NADH ratios are both increased upon flight. The change in the mitochondrial ratio indicates the importance of the intramitochondrial ATP/ADP concentration ratio in the regulation of the rate of electron transfer in this muscle.

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