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Lactate dehydrogenase ec isozyme patterns in cetaceans evidence for a biochemical adaptation to diving

, : Lactate dehydrogenase ec isozyme patterns in cetaceans evidence for a biochemical adaptation to diving. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B 53(3): 357-359

LDH [lactate dehydrogenase, E.C.] patterns were examined in 4 mysticete [the fin (Balaenoptera physalus), sei (B. borealis), blue (B. musculus) and humpback (Megaptera novae-angliae)] and 1 odontocete the sperm whale (Physeter catodon)] whale species. Odontocete (sperm) whales had a significantly greater proportion of M subunits and a greater total LDH activity in heart tissues than mysticete whales. Mysticete brain tissues had a higher proportion of M subunits than heart tissues. Interspecific differences in the proportion of M subunits in skeletal muscle tissues were not significant. Percentages of M subunits in heart tissues of all species examined were greater than those observed in some non-diving vertebrates. Electrophoretic mobilities of all enzymes examined were identical. Increased M subunit concentrations in heart and brain tissues indicate a biochemical adaptation to diving in whales.


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