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Fluorine-Tagged 5-Hydroxytryptophan to Investigate Amino Acid Metabolism In Vivo

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Author(s): Zofia E. Gagnon | Sherry Dingman | Rhys N. Thomas

Journal: Journal of Amino Acids
ISSN 2090-0112

Volume: 2010;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Auxin a plant growth hormone, has a metabolic pathway that includes molecules and enzymes like those in animal brains. In this study, tomato plant seedlings (Lycopersicon esculenta) were used to investigate the fate of fluorine-tagged 5-hydroxytryptophan (PF-5-HTP) being developed for fluorine spectroscopy and imaging. Seedlings were treated with high or low concentrations of 5-HTP or PF-5-HTP and compared with controls. Metabolites of the PF-5-HTP were quantified using a custom immunoassay for the tag. Serotonin (5-HT) levels were measured with spectrofluorometry and thin-layer chromatography. Plants in treatment conditions had serotonin levels five to six times higher than controls. PF-5-HTP served as a precursor for serotonin in a biosynthetic pathway in this plant model, providing evidence for the bioavailability of the novel molecule. The increase in serotonin in plants grown in media culture supplemented with 5-HTP or PF-5-HTP might have useful applications in pharmacology.
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