Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Mimosine{Leucaenol, Leucaenine); beta-N-(3-hydroxy-4- pyridone)-a1pha-amino propionic acid is one of the free amino acids found in the seeds and leaves of the Leucaena glauce benth and related tropical plants. This legume which is. also called "Jumbie Bean”, "Lamtoro" and "Koa Haole" is drought resistant, grows in poor soil, and has a higher protein content than alfalfa. It would be excellent feed for animals if it were not for the toxic effects of the mimosine in it. It was Morris who first reported in 1897 the toxic effects of mimosine for animals ingesting mimosine showed symptoms of hair loss, infertility, retardation of growth, weakness, cataracts and internal hemorrhaging. Although the effects of mimosine have been known for a long time, the reason or mechanism for these effects has not been explained clearly. This research involved studying the effects of mimosine on the activity of various enzymes most of which require vitamin B6. Particular emphasis was on those enzymes related to tyrosine, since interference with tyrosine metabolism also has been suggested as a basis of the toxicity. The effects of rnimosine on tyr6sine transamination, tyrosine hydroxylation, DOPA decarboxylation and lysine decarboxylation were studied. In addition, the changes of the ultraviolet spectra as a function of time in a mirnosine solution and in a solution containing mimosine and pyridoxal phosphate were also studied.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Amino acids

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University