Previous studies have shown that a group of nitrogen catabolic enzymes including xanthine dehydrogenase, purine nucleoside phosphorylase, and tyrosine aminotransferase are all increased in chick liver by dietary protein as well as single amino acids (e.g. methionine) and certain antimetabolites (e.g. hydrazine). A similar enzyme response pattern can be obtained with insulin. This hormone causes an enhanced rate of XDH synthesis and gives nonadditive results with protein, hydrazine and methionine. Furthermore, a vitamin B(6) dependency was observed in responses to both high protein diets and insulin, all suggesting a common regulatory mechanism. In this system dietary protein and insulin may act similarly by increasing the availability of amino acids to the liver - in one case by supplying amino acids through the diet and in the other by increasing amino acid uptake.

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