Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

10 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Synthesis of phenylalanine-derived neurotransmitters
Phenylalanine --> tyrosine by phenylalanine hydroxylase (defective enzyme in PKU); tyrosine --> DOPA by tyrosine hydroxylase
- Both reactions use BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin). Synthesis of DOPA is therefore inhibited by deficits in biopterin synthesis or dihydrobiopterin reductase.
DOPA then decarboxylated (by DOPA decarboxylase)--> dopamine, which requires PLP (vitamin B6).

Dopamine hydroxylated --> norepinephrine; requires molecular O2, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and copper.

Norepinephrine methylated --> epinephrine, using SAM as a methyl donor.
Catechoamine inactivation
- Methylation = catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) uses SAM as a methyl donor.
- Oxidation = monoamine oxidase (MAO) removes the NH4+ to form an aldehyde, aldehyde oxidases then --> acid
- Norepi is inactivated by conversion to vanillymandelic acid, which is then excreted. Epi has a similar inactivation pathway.
- Dopamine is converted to homovanillic acid.
Serotonin synthesis
Tryptophan --> 5-hydroxytryptophan by trp hydroxylase (requires O2, BH4) --> serotonin by DOPA decarboxylase (generates amine from animo acid, requires PLP)
Serotonin inactivation
oxidation by monoamine oxidase, removal of NH3 --> aldehyde, then oxidation to carboxyl group using NAD+ --> NADH

(Unlike catecholamines there is no methylation of the ring hydroxyl group.
Melatonin synthesis
Acetylation of serotonin --> methylation of ring hydroxyl --> melatonin
- SAM = methyl donor
- occurs in pineal gland.
GABA and histidine synthesis
** AA decarboxylases **

glutamate --> GABA
histidine --> histamine

- both involve PLP-catalyzed decarboxylations
- Astroglial cells use NH4+ to synthesize glutamine, which is substrate for neuronal synthesis of GABA and glutamate
- Glutamate also transports excess NH4+ from brain into blood
- Inactivation of histamine via two pathways: 1) brain = methylation, MAO oxidase (MAO-B); 2) periphery = deamination, oxidation --> products of both excreted
Melanin synthesis
Tyrosine --> DOPA quinone catalyzed by tyrosinase
- Cu-dependent enzyme
- UVB light = inc tyrosinase activity in melanocytes

Oxidized quinones polymerize to form melanins in the skin, eyes, and hair.
Thyroid hormone synthesis
Tyrosine + I2 (iodide ions reduced and added to tyrosine ring) --> MIT and DIT; condensation = active T3 and T4 hormones
NO synthesis
Arginine --> NO by NOS
- NOS is a mixed function oxidase; utilizes O2 and NADPH.
NO signal transduction
- Is made by endothelial cells; relaxes smooth muscle and dilates cardiac vessels.
- Activates guanylate cyclase pathway in smooth muscle cells
- Is cytotoxic, reacting with the Fe-S centers of ETC enzymes, inhibiting ATP production in nearby “parasites and tumor cells”