Relationships Between Pteridine Synthesis and Tryptophan Degradation
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In 1979, a fluorescent substance occurring in increased amounts in urinary specimens of patients suffering from viral infections or malignant diseases was characterized as D-erythro-neopterin (neopterin; Wachter et al. 1979). Extended studies of neopterin excretion in diseases revealed that the enhanced excretion of neopterin is coupled to clinical conditions characterized by activated cell-mediated immunity (reviewed by Fuchs et al., 1988; Wachter et al., 1989). Studies investigating the cellular background of these observations in vitro confirmed that immunological activation of the host’s peripheral blood mononuclear cells leads to release of neopterin into the culture medium. Surprisingly, large amounts of an unidentified fluorescent substance were always formed together with neopterin by the cells (Fuchs et al., 1982; Huber et al., 1983). The chemical identification of this substance as the tryptophan metabolite 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (Werner et al., 1985a) initiated our work on the relationship between tryptophan degradation and pteridine synthesis, which is summarized in the present contribution.
KeywordsAnthranilic Acid Tryptophan Metabolism Tryptophan Degradation Dihydropteridine Reductase Normal Dermal Fibroblast
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