Identification of Malonic Acid as an Inhibitor of Mammalian Arginase I

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Benjamin J. Alper, Ph.D.


Arginase plays a vital role in nitrogen metabolism, converting L-arginine into L-ornithine and urea. As nitrogen metabolism produces ammonia, which is potentially toxic for the organism, arginase's role is very important. Although arginase I is mostly present in the liver. It can also be found in other tissues, and plays roles in lactation and sexual arousal. Arginase has also been linked to medical conditions including as [sic] inflammatory and immunological processes, drawing the attention of the scientific community. Although there are a variety of arginase inhibitors, many have undesired side effects. Thus, there is a potential medical need for additional arginase inhibitors. Using a colorimetric microassay on purified liver bovine arginase I (b-ARG I), malonic acid, also termed propanedioic acid, was shown to be a more potent inhibitor of arginase 1 than N-nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a previously characterized arginase inhibitor.


Master's thesis submitted to the faculty of Sacred Heart University's Chemistry Program in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Chemistry.