1. Administration of tryptophan to starved rats causes a rapid decrease in liver 5-aminolaevulinate synthase activity associated with an increase in the haem saturation of tryptophan pyrrolase. Both effects are maximally produced at 30 min by a 100 mg/kg body wt. dose of tryptophan. 2. Pb2+ prevents both effects. 3. Prevention by allopurinol or benserazide of the tryptophan-induced increase in the haem saturation of tryptophan pyrrolase renders this haem available for further repression of synthase synthesis. 4. The opposite effects on synthase activity and pyrrolase saturation with haem caused by administration of 5-aminolaevulinate, but not those by that of haematin, are potentiated by tryptophan. 5. It is suggested that tryptophan decreases 5-aminolaevulinate synthase activity and causes the initial increase in the haem saturation of tryptophan pyrrolase by enhancing the conversion of 5-aminolaevulinate into haem by a process requiring protein synthesis.

This content is only available as a PDF.