Uric acid degrading enzymes, urate oxidase and allantoinase, are associated with different subcellular organelles in frog liver and kidney

Nobuteru Usuda, Sueko Hayashi, Satoko Fujiwara, Tomoo Noguchi, Tetsuji Nagata, M. Sambasiva Rao, Keith Alvares, Janardan K. Reddy, Anjana V. Yeldandi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


On the basis of differential and density gradient centrifugation studies, the site of the uric acid degrading enzymes, urate oxidase and allantoinase, in amphibia was previously assigned to the hepatic peroxisomes. Using specific antibodies against frog urate oxidase and allantoinase, we have undertaken an immunocytochemical study of the localization of these two proteins in frog liver and kidney, and demonstrate that whereas urate oxidase is present in peroxisomes, allantoinase is localized in mitochondria. Urate oxidase and allantoinase were detected by immunoblot analysis in both frog liver and kidney. The subcellular localization of these two enzymes was ascertained by Protein A-gold immunocytochemical staining of Lowicryl K4M-embedded tissue. Peroxisomes in frog liver parenchymal cells and kidney proximal tubular epithelium contained a semi-dense subcrystalloid core, which was found to be the exclusive site of urate oxidase localization. Allantoinase was detected within mitochondria, but not in peroxisomes of hepatocytes or proximal tubular epithelium. No allantoinase was detected in the mitochondria of nonhepatic parenchymal cells in liver and of the cells lining the distal convoluted tubules of the kidney. These results demonstrate that, unlike rat kidney peroxisomes which lack urate oxidase, peroxisomes of frog kidney contain this enzyme. Contrary to previous assumptions, these studies also clearly establish that urate oxidase and allantoinase, the first two enzymes involved in uric acid degradation, are localized in different subcellular organelles in frog liver and kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1081
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1994



  • Allantoinase
  • Mitochondrion
  • Peroxisome
  • Purine metabolism
  • Urate oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Cite this