Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry



Committee Director

James H. Yuan

Committee Member

Mark Elliot

Committee Member

Roy L. Williams

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C45 S38 2006


The purpose of the research is to investigate the biochemical cause of gout in 82 patients. The gouty patients had been diagnosed with gout according to the criterion of the American Rheumatism Association. This gout patient population consisted of 58 men and 24 women with gout whose ages ranged from 11 to 84 years of age with a mean age of 44 years. Key purine metabolism enzyme activity levels and purine metabolite concentrations in the patients' plasma and urine were compared to the mean values of a healthy control group. The control group consisted of 33 males and 25 female who did not have primary or secondary hyperuricemia expressed for the past two generations, and did not have any immediate family members suffering from gouty diseases. Their ages ranged from 8 to 75 years with a mean age of 36. Based on the results of the purine metabolism enzyme activity levels, the patients are classified as one of eight groups.

The plasma urate was determined by the uricase-peroxidase coupling reaction. Plasma hypoxanthine and xanthine concentrations were determined by HPLC. Erythrocyte red blood cell phosphoribosylpyrophosphate (PRPP) synthetase, hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT), and adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) activities were determined by using a combination of enzymatic and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods.

The study found that the mean levels of xanthine, uric acid, hypoxanthine, and erythrocyte PRPP synthetase levels for gouty patients were significantly higher than normal healthy controls. While no differences in biochemical parameters were found between male and female gout patients, there was a significant difference between the male and female control patient's biochemical parameters. The gout patients were further classified based on their biochemical profile of enzyme function abnormalities, with 13% of the population found to have multiple abnormalities. These patients were in the first seven biochemical profiles. 48.9% of the remaining patients were classified as Group 8, which is classified with other possible factors, such as renal clearance issues. The involvement of renal clearance of urate should be further investigated.


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