In contrast with putrescine (1,4-diaminobutane), which is a substrate of diamine oxidase, monoacetylputrescine is oxidatively deaminated both in vitro and in vivo by monoamine oxidase. The product of this reaction is N-acetyl-γ-aminobutyrate. The existence of a degradative pathway in mammalian brain for putrescine is shown, which comprises acetylation of putrescine, oxidative deamination of monoacetylputrescine to N-acetyl-γ-aminobutyrate, transformation of N-acetyl-γ-aminobutyrate to γ-aminobutyrate and degradation of γ-aminobutyrate to CO2 via the tricarboxylic acid cycle.

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