Is it true that for all biochemical transamination reactions, that alpha-ketoglutarate and glutamate serve as the amino group acceptor and donor, respectively?

If this is true, then is it safe to assume that alpha-ketoglutarate is necessary for every transamination reaction?


1 Answer 1


The major transaminases such as the aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase involve the glutamate α-ketoglutarate interconversion. Even the GABA aminotransferase employs glutamate/α-ketoglutarate. It seems that all transaminases use glutamate/α-ketoglutarate; in fact most of them do.

These are a few that don't:

And a few more (see here). Most of these are present in plants.


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