UNIT 8.2 Measurement of ALA Synthase Activity

  1. Peter R. Sinclair1,
  2. Nadia Gorman1,
  3. Neal W. Cornell2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471140856.tx0802s00

Current Protocols in Toxicology

Current Protocols in Toxicology

How to Cite

Sinclair, P. R., Gorman, N. and Cornell, N. W. 2001. Measurement of ALA Synthase Activity. Current Protocols in Toxicology. 00:8.2:8.2.1–8.2.11.

Author Information

  1. 1

    VA Medical Center, White River Junction, Vermont

  2. 2

    Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: MAY 1999


In most cells, δ-aminolevulinate (ALA) synthase is the rate-limiting enzyme in heme synthesis. It is inducible by drugs and toxins and is feedback regulated by heme. This unit describes a radiometric assay using [14C]succinate as a substrate and a colorimetric assay based on the conversion of ALA to a pyrrole.