The isolated perfused rat kidney was shown to synthesize serine from aspartate or glutamate, both of which are also precursors of glucose. The major products of aspartate metabolism were ammonia, serine, glutamate, glucose, glutamine and CO2. Perfusion of kidneys with aspartate in the presence of amino-oxyacetate resulted in a near-complete inhibition of aspartate metabolism, illustrating the essential role of aspartate aminotransferase in the metabolism of this substrate. Radioactivity from 14C-labelled aspartate and from 14C-labelled glycerol was incorporated into serine and glucose. Production of both glucose and serine from aspartate was suppressed in the presence of 3-mercaptopicolinic acid. These data provide evidence for the operation of the phosphorylated and/or non-phosphorylated pathway for serine production to the presence of 3-mercaptopicolinic acid. This is explained by simultaneous glycolysis. The rate of glucose production, but not that of serine, was greater in kidneys perfused with glutamate or with aspartate plus glycerol than the rates obtained by perfusion with aspartate alone. These data are taken to suggest that serine synthesis occurred at a near-maximal rate, and that the capacity of the kidney for serine synthesis from glucose precursors is lower than that for glucose synthesis.

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