Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors
Phenylalanine -- Metabolism, Aspergillus nidulans, Fumarylacetoacetate -- Synthesis
Fumarylacetoacetate (FAA) is a downstream metabolite of phenylalanine catabolism. In Human Type 1 Tyrosinemia a deletion of the enzyme that breaks down this compound leads to a toxic build up that leads to acute liver and kidney failure. FAA is used to test the activity of a drug used liver repopulation therapy. This project aims to synthesize this compound using enzyme extracts from the filamentous fungi Aspergillus nidulans. The fungus is grown on a carbon source, phenylacetic acid, which induces expression of enzymes in the phenylalanine catabolic pathway. The enzymes are then extracted from the cultures, purified, and used in an enzyme assay converting the metabolite homogentisate (HGA) to maleylacetoacetate (MAA). MAA is then isomerized to FAA via the addition of metaphosphoric acid (MPA). This report outlines attempts to synthesize this compound and the troubleshooting techniques employed.
Loughran, Carolyn, "Attempts to Synthesize Fumarylacetoacetate Using the Filamentous Ascomycete, Aspergillus nidulans" (2018). University Honors Theses. Paper 596.