Moderate doses of glucagon (20 μg/kg I.V.) are sufficient to stimulate rat hepatic phenylalanine hydroxylase in vivo. In addition, the stimulation of the tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent phenylalanine hydroxylase activity in livers of animals fed on a high-protein diet has been correlated with an elevated phosphate content. The tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent hydroxylase activity in these animals can be further elevated by glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation. These results indicate that physiological changes in glucagon concentration modulate rat liver phenylalanine hydroxylase activity in vivo. The current understanding of the role of phosphorylation in regulating human phenylalanine hydroxylase is also considered.

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