The adrenergic amines noradrenaline and adrenaline increased flux through phenylalanine hydroxylase by approx. 50%. This effect, which appears to be mediated by an alpha-adrenergic mechanism, was accompanied by a rapid increase in the phosphorylation of phenylalanine hydroxylase. Although ionophore A23187 mimicked the effects of the adrenergic amines, vasopressin was completely without effect on either phenylalanine hydroxylation or enzyme phosphorylation. Flux through phenylalanine hydroxylase in young rats (80 g) was insensitive to alpha-adrenergic, but sensitive to beta-adrenergic, agents. Consistent with previous observations [Fisher & Pogson (1984) Biochem. J. 219, 79-85] the present data indicate a close correlation between phosphorylation state and flux rate (i.e. enzyme activity).

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