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Amino Acids

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 1053–1063 | Cite as

Proline and hydroxyproline metabolism: implications for animal and human nutrition

  • Guoyao Wu
  • Fuller W. Bazer
  • Robert C. Burghardt
  • Gregory A. Johnson
  • Sung Woo Kim
  • Darrell A. Knabe
  • Peng Li
  • Xilong Li
  • Jason R. McKnight
  • M. Carey Satterfield
  • Thomas E. Spencer
Invited Review

Abstract

Proline plays important roles in protein synthesis and structure, metabolism (particularly the synthesis of arginine, polyamines, and glutamate via pyrroline-5-carboxylate), and nutrition, as well as wound healing, antioxidative reactions, and immune responses. On a per-gram basis, proline plus hydroxyproline are most abundant in collagen and milk proteins, and requirements of proline for whole-body protein synthesis are the greatest among all amino acids. Therefore, physiological needs for proline are particularly high during the life cycle. While most mammals (including humans and pigs) can synthesize proline from arginine and glutamine/glutamate, rates of endogenous synthesis are inadequate for neonates, birds, and fish. Thus, work with young pigs (a widely used animal model for studying infant nutrition) has shown that supplementing 0.0, 0.35, 0.7, 1.05, 1.4, and 2.1% proline to a proline-free chemically defined diet containing 0.48% arginine and 2% glutamate dose dependently improved daily growth rate and feed efficiency while reducing concentrations of urea in plasma. Additionally, maximal growth performance of chickens depended on at least 0.8% proline in the diet. Likewise, dietary supplementation with 0.07, 0.14, and 0.28% hydroxyproline (a metabolite of proline) to a plant protein-based diet enhanced weight gains of salmon. Based on its regulatory roles in cellular biochemistry, proline can be considered as a functional amino acid for mammalian, avian, and aquatic species. Further research is warranted to develop effective strategies of dietary supplementation with proline or hydroxyproline to benefit health, growth, and development of animals and humans.

Keywords

Proline Nutrition Biochemistry Health Growth 

Abbreviations

AA

Amino acid

IUGR

Intrauterine growth retardation

mTOR

Mammalian target of rapamycin

NRC

National Research Council

P5C

Pyrroline-5-carboxylate

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported, in part, by grants from National Institutes of Health (1R21 HD049449), National Research Initiative Competitive Grants (2008-35206-18764, 2008-35203-19120, and 2009-35206-05211) from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, Texas AgriLife Research (H-8200), North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Thousand-People-Talent program at China Agricultural University. We thank graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians, and many collaborators for their important contributions to the work described in this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guoyao Wu
    • 1
    • 5
  • Fuller W. Bazer
    • 1
  • Robert C. Burghardt
    • 2
  • Gregory A. Johnson
    • 2
  • Sung Woo Kim
    • 3
  • Darrell A. Knabe
    • 1
  • Peng Li
    • 4
  • Xilong Li
    • 1
  • Jason R. McKnight
    • 1
  • M. Carey Satterfield
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science and Faculty of NutritionTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Integrative BiosciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  3. 3.Department of Animal ScienceNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  4. 4.National Renderers AssociationAlexandriaUSA
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of Animal NutritionChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina

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