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Regulation of muscular glutamate metabolism by high-protein diet in broiler chicks

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The major taste active component, glutamate (Glu), improves the taste of meat. In this study, we investigated the effect of a short-term high-protein (HCP) diet on the intramuscular free Glu content to improve the taste of meat. Furthermore, we elucidated how the muscle free Glu content was controlled by the HCP diet. Chicks (14 days old) were fed the control diet or HCP diet for 10 days. Plasma and muscle free amino acid concentrations, and activity and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of muscle enzymes related to Glu metabolism were determined. Muscle free Glu content was increased (P < 0.01) by 51%. Activity and mRNA expression of glutaminase (GA), which is one of the major Glu-related enzymes, were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) in the HCP group because of feedback inhibition. The mRNA expression of lysine α-ketoglutarate reductase (LKR), which is the enzyme involved in lysine (Lys) degradation and Glu production, was significantly increased (P < 0.001) in the HCP group. These results suggest that short-term dietary HCP feeding is an effective treatment for improving the taste of meat. Furthermore, our results suggest that the free Glu content in muscle is regulated by GA and LKR.
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Keywords: amino acid; diet; glutamic acid; metabolism; muscle

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata University, Niigata 2: National Agriculture Research Centre for Western Region, Shimane, Japan

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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