Urea Cycle

From the previous discussion, it can be seen that the metabolism of most amino acids involves removal of the amino groups by transamination. 2-oxoglutarate is the main acceptor of these amino groups, being converted to glutamate, which can then be deaminated to release ammonium. However, ammonium is highly toxic and cannot be allowed to accumulate, so it is converted to urea, which is the form in which most of the nitrogen derived from protein is excreted from the body. Urea is formed in the liver by the cyclic series of reactions shown in Figure 10. It can be seen that only one of the nitrogen atoms in the urea molecule is actually derived from ammonium, via carbamyl phosphate. The other nitrogen atom comes from quinolinic acid

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