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Widespread occurrence of specific, high affinity binding sites for amino acids


The high affinity binding of several amino acids to various membrane and protein preparations has been measured. Binding of radioactive amino acids suspected of being neurotransmitters and also of leucine and tyrosine to brain, liver and heart muscle membranes was saturable, reversible and stereospecific. Similar characteristics were found using chloroform-methanol extracted brain tissue and heat denatured albumin. Compounds thought to act as blockers of postsynaptic binding such as strychnine, bicuculline and kainic acid did not inhibit binding. Thus, specific high affinity interactions between amino acids and proteins are widespread and largely unrelated to neurotransmission. © 1978.

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