SUMMARY: Washed suspensions of certain bacteria can synthesize alanine from pyruvate and ammonia. This has been studied in detail in Several other amino acids can be formed from the corresponding keto-acids, but synthesis was most rapid in the case of alanine. Notably, glutamic acid is formed from keto-glutarate relatively slowly, whilst oxalacetate fails to give aspartate. Pyruvate can accept an amino group from a number of amino acids by transamination (but aspartic and glutamic acids are less effective than ammonia itself). It is possible that the reductive amination of pyruvate may proceed directly rather than through transamination from some other primary amino-acceptor.


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