By John Barrett (auth.)
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The levels of free amino acids are also usually much higher in invertebrates than in vertebrates. In birds and mammals, free amino acid levels range from 10 to 50 mg/l 00 g fresh weight, figures for invertebrates are from 300 to 2000 mg/IOO g fresh weight, to as high as 3000 mg/lOO g fresh weight for marine invertebrates. Parasitic helminths come in the lower part of the invertebrate range, with free amino acid pools of 50-400 mg/IOO g fresh weight. In free-living invertebrates, free amino acids are important regulators of intracellular osmotic pressure.
Acetate and propionate residues occur in the ascaroside esters of P. equorum and A. columnaris; all of the other species investigated contain only acetate esters (A. galli, T. ). It is interesting that in A. lumbricoides, A. columnaris and P. equorum, although volatile fatty acids (C s and C6 ) occur in the ovarian neutral lipids, they are not present in the ascaroside esters. The absence of 2·methylbutyrate and 2-methylvalerate residues from the ascaroside esters of ascarids, despite their abundance in ovarian triacylglycerols and waxes, suggests considerable biochemical specificity.
Five non-protein amino acids, taurine, ornithine, citrulline, 2-aminobutyrate and 4-aminobutyrate have been found in the free amino acid pools of trematodes26 • Proline and alanine are also the major free amino acids in the parasitic turbellarian Syndesmis franciscana 2 7. High levels of proline have again been found in the free amino acid pools of monogeneans 28 . The free amino acid pools of monogeneans range from 400 mg/ 100 g fresh weight for freshwater forms to 2600 mg/lOO g fresh weight for marine species, and proline may constitute up to 70% of the total free amino acids.
Biochemistry of Parasitic Helminths by John Barrett (auth.)