Pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) is the oxidized metabolite of proline. In cultured cells redox-sensitive metabolic pathways are influenced by these two amino acids. To determine whether plasma P5C levels fluctuate enough physiologically to regulate such pathways in vivo, we measured venous plasma P5C concentrations hourly for 48 h in five normal subjects while eating and in four subjects while fasting. Two fed subjects had one or more plasma P5C excursions per day exceeding 10 times the baseline level; the other fed subjects had lesser variations. These patterns suggest a relationship of plasma P5C peaks to meals. This relationship is supported by the finding of no significant P5C elevations above baseline levels in four subjects during fasting for 24 h. Despite the changes in plasma P5C concentrations, those of proline and other metabolically related amino acids were constant. The variation among subjects in the degree of plasma P5C fluctuation could not be explained by differences in total protein and caloric intake or body weight. Among plasma constituents, the large peak to basal plasma P5C excursions in some of the normal subjects we studied are matched only by those of peptide hormones.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical