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Updated: Jul 13 2019

Amino Acid Absorption

  • Overview
    • Nitrogen balance
      • positive
        • amino acid (AA) intake > excretion
        • examples
          • growth
          • pregnancy
      • negative
        • AA excretion > intake
        • examples
          • kwashiorkor
          • starvation
          • infection
    • AA absorption in intestine
      • proteins degraded by trypsin and pepsin
        • enteropeptidase cleaves trypsinogen (inactive) to trypsin (active)
      • absorbed as AA's across the gut lumen with specific transporter for similar AA's
        • e.g., transporter for basic AA's, transporter for large neutral AA's
      • deficiencies
        • lack of absorption with pancreatitis due to ↓ in degradative enzyme production
        • Hartnup disease
          • defect in large neutral AA transporter in the intestine and renal proximal tubule cells
          • result is a tryptophan deficiency
          • presents similar to pellagra
    • AA absorption in kidney
      • AA's that are filtered from the glomerulus can be actively reabsorbed in the proximal convoluted tubules with similar transporters as the gut
      • deficiencies
        • cystinuria
          • genetic defect in transporter for cysteine, ornithine, lysine, arginine
          • AR
          • presentation
            • cystine staghorn calculi
              • note: cystine = 2x cysteine attached by a disulfide bridge
              • cystine kidney stones result from high concentrations in urine
          • treatment
            • alkalinization of the urine with acetazolamide
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