Daniel Miller, M.Sc. Biology, 1983

Gas-Liquid Chromatography and Enzymatic Determination of Alanopine and Strombine in Tissues of Marine Invertebrates



Gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) and enzymatic assays were developed for quantitating the imino acids, alanopine and strombine, alternate products of anaerobic glycolysis (replacing lactate) in the tissues of many marine invertebrates. For GLC analysis, t -strombine (2-methyliminodiacetic acid) and meso-alanopine (2,2’ iminodipropionic acid) were chromatographed as N-trifluoroacetyl isobutyl esters. Modifications of techniques used for GLC analysis of amino acids were required to overcome steric hindrance in the acylation reaction caused by the presence of imino, rather than amino, groups. Both imino acids were separated from each other and from all amino acids by GLC. Detection limit of the technique was 0.05 microg imino acid. Enzymatic determination of imino acids made use of the alanopine-specific alanopine dehydrogenase (ADH) purified from the periwinkle, Litterina littorea, and the strombine/ alanopine utilizing strombine dehydrogenase (SDH) from the clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, with assay conditions: 300 mM hydrazine buffer, pH 9.0, 5 mM NAD, and 0.3 unit ADH or 1.0 unit SDH. Enzymatic determinations of mixtures of alanopine and strombine in tissue samples required a dual analysis using both enzymes. Production of alanopine and strombine during anoxic stress in two species of marine molluscs was quantitated.