Total pyruvate dehydrogenase activities in hamster intestine increase from 40 nmol/min (munits) per g of intestine in the foetal animals to 460 munits/g in the adult, whereas the fraction of the enzyme in the active form increases from 34 to 42% of the total activity over the same period. However, a complete conversion of the enzyme into the active form is observed in the neonatal animal immediately after birth. Results from experiments in vitro suggested that the activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase is controlled, in part, by the [NAD+]/[NADH] ratio. This proposal was tested in vivo by examining the proportion of the enzyme in the active form during conditions when the [NAD+]/[NADH] ratio was markedly altered, and the data show a direct relationship between the mitochondrial redox state and activity of the active form.

This content is only available as a PDF.