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A 25 –year-old woman living alone became severely depressed after the termination of her engagement. Two months later, she was brought to the emergency room by a friend because of weakness and lethargy. She appeared thin and pale. Questioning revealed that she had not eaten for several weeks.

Analysis of a plasma sample indicated elevated levels of acetoacetate, β hydroxy butyrate, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). However her plasma glucose concentration was within normal limits. She was hospitalized, given intravenous feeding and antidepressant medications and subsequently shifted to an 1800 Cal (7500 kJ) diet. Her recovery was uneventful.

During starvation muscle activity decreases, and muscle protein is broken down to provide a carbon source for the liver production of glucose via gluconeogenesis. Which of the following amino acids remains in the muscle cell to provide a source of energy for the muscle?

A. Alanine

B. Aspartate

C. Leucine

D. Glutamate

E. Threonine

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