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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Biochemistry
 Degree Level: Doctoral
O-Acetylserine Sulhydralase-A from Salmonella typhimurium LT-2: Thermodynamic Properties and SPectral Identification of Intermediates
O-Acetylserine Sulfhydrylase (OASS) is a pyridoxal phosphate enzyme that catalyzes the reaction of O-acetyl-Lserine with sulfide to give L-cysteine. OASS is present as two isoforms, designated -A and -B. The kinetic mechanism of OASS-A is well known and there is also much known concerning the acid-base chemistry of the enzyme. However, little is known concerning the location of the rate determining steps, the sequencing of chemical steps that occur at the active site, or the nature of the rate determining transition states. The studies performed to help elucidate these aspects of the OASS-A mechanism included determination of the thermodynamics of both half reactions, along with studies utilizing substrate analogs of OAS halting the reaction at specific points along the reaction pathway allowing the identification of reaction intermediates. The free energy change of the first half reaction was shown to be -5.7 Kcal/mole while the second half reaction was shown to be, for all intents and purposes, irreversible. Intermediates along the reaction pathway that have been previously identified include the internal Schiff base and the a-aminoacrylate. The external Schiff base was identified using the analogs cysteine, alanine, and glycine while the geminal diamine was identified using the analog serine. Formation of the external aldimine was shown to be pH dependent with a pK of 8.1 ± 0.3 most likely representing a general base that accepts a proton from the a-amine of cysteine to facilitate a nucleophilic attack on C4r of the PLP imine. Formation of the geminal diamine was also shown to be pH dependent with two pK values having an average value of 8.1. One of the groups most likely represents the general base which accepts a proton from the a-amine of cysteine while the second group likely interacts with the amino acid side chain to orientate the amino acid into the correct configuration.
N-Acylethanolamine Metabolism During Seed Germination: Molecular Identification of a Functional N-Acylethanolamine Amidohydrolase.
N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs) are endogenous lipid metabolites that occur in a variety of dry seeds, and their levels decline rapidly during the first few hours of imbibition (Chapman et al., 1999, Plant Physiol., 120:1157-1164). Biochemical studies supported the existence of an NAE amidohydrolase activity in seeds and seedlings, and efforts were directed toward identification of DNA sequences encoding this enzyme. Mammalian tissues metabolize NAEs via an amidase enzyme designated fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Based on the characteristic amidase signature sequence in mammalian FAAH, a candidate Arabidopsis cDNA was identified and isolated by reverse transcriptase-PCR. The Arabidopsis cDNA was expressed in E. coli and the recombinant protein indeed hydrolyzed a range of NAEs to free fatty acids and ethanolamine. Kinetic parameters for the recombinant protein were consistent with those properties of the rat FAAH, supporting identification of this Arabidopsis cDNA as a FAAH homologue. Two T-DNA insertional mutant lines with disruptions in the Arabidopsis NAE amidohydrolase gene (At5g64440) were identified. The homozygous mutant seedlings were more sensitive than the wild type to exogenously applied NAE 12:0. Transgenic seedlings overexpressing the NAE amidohydrolase enzyme showed noticeably greater tolerance to NAE 12:0 than wild type seedlings. These results together provide evidence in vitro and in vivo for the molecular identification of Arabidopsis NAE amidohydrolase. Moreover, the plants with altered NAE amidohydrolase expression may provide new tools for improved understanding of the role of NAEs in germination and seedling growth.
Application of Synthetic Peptides as Substrates for Reversible Phosphorylation
Two highly homologous synthetic peptides MLC(3-13) (K-R-A-K-A-K-T-TK-K-R-G) and MLC(5-13) (A-K-A-K-T-T-K-K-R-G) corresponding to the amino terminal amino acid sequence of smooth muscle myosin light chain were utilized as substrates for protein kinase C purified from murine lymphosarcoma tumors to determine the role of the primary amino acid sequence of protein kinase C substrates in defining the lipid (phosphatidyl serine and diacylglycerol) requirements for the activation of the enzyme. Removal of the basic residues lysine and arginine from the amino terminus of MLC(3-13) did not have a significant effect on the Ka value of diacylglycerol. The binding of effector to calcium-protein kinase C appears to be random since binding of one effector did not block the binding of the other.
Autophosphorylation and Autoactivation of an S6/H4 Kinase Isolated From Human Placenta
A number of protein kinases have been shown to undergo autophosphorylation, but few have demonstrated a coordinate increase or decrease in enzymatic activity as a result. Described here is a novel S6 kinase isolated from human placenta which autoactivates through autophosphorylation in vitro. This S6/H4 kinase, purified in an inactive state, was shown to be a protein of Mr of 60,000 as estimated by SDS-PAGE and could catalyze the phosphorylation of the synthetic peptide S6-21, the histone H4, and myelin basic protein. Mild digestion of the inactive S6/H4 kinase with trypsin was necessary, but not sufficient, to activate the kinase fully
Characterization of a Human 28S Ribosomal RNA Retropseudogene and Other Repetitive DNA Sequence Elements Isolated from a Human X Chromosome-Specific Library
Three genomic clones encompassing human DNA segments (designated LhX-3, LhX-4, and LhX5) were isolated from an X chromosome-specific library and subjected to analysis by physical mapping and DNA sequencing. It was found that these three clones are very rich in repetitive DNA sequence elements and retropseudogenes.
Conformational Studies of Myosin and Actin with Calibrated Resonance Energy Transfer
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Resonance energy transfer was employed to study the conformational changes of actomyosin during ATP hydrolysis. To calibrate the technique, the parameters for resonance energy transfer were defined. With conformational searching algorithms to predict probe orientation, the distances measured by resonance energy transfer are highly consistent with the atomic models, which verified the accuracy and feasibility of resonance energy transfer for structural studies of proteins and oligonucleotides. To study intramyosin distances, resonance energy transfer probes were attached to skeletal myosin's nucleotide site, subfragment-2, and regulatory light chain to examine nucleotide analog-induced structural transitions. The distances between the three positions were measured in the presence of different nucleotide analogs. No distance change was considered to be statistically significant. The measured distance between the regulatory light chain and nucleotide site was consistent with either the atomic model of skeletal myosin subfragment-1 or an average of the three models claimed for different ATP hydrolysis states, which suggested that the neck region was flexible in solution. To examine the participation of actin in the powerstroke process, resonance energy transfer between different sites on actin and myosin was measured in the presence of nucleotide analogs. The efficiencies of energy transfer between myosin catalytic domain and actin were consistent with the actoS1 docking model. However, the neck region was much closer to the actin filament than predicted by static atomic models. The efficiency of energy transfer between Cys 374 and the regulatory light chain was much greater in the presence of ADP-AlF4, ADP-BeFx, and ADP-vanadate than in the presence of ADP or no nucleotide. These data detect profound differences in the conformations of the weakly and strongly attached crossbridges which appear to result from a conformational selection that occurs during the weak binding of the myosin head to actin. The resonance energy transfer data exclude a number of versions of the swinging lever arm model, and indicate that actin participation is indispensable for conformational changes leading to force generation. The conformational selection during weak binding at the actomyosin interface may precock the myosin head for the ensuing powerstroke.
Cottonseed Microsomal N-Acylphosphatidylethanolamine Synthase: Identification, Purification and Biochemical Characterization of a Unique Acyltransferase
N-Acylphosphatidylethanoiamine (NAPE) is synthesized in the microsomes of cotton seedlings by a mechanism that is possibly unique to plants, the ATP-, Ca2+-, and CoA-independent acylation ofphosphatidylethanolamine (PE) with unesterified free fatty acids (FFAs), catalyzed by NAPE synthase. A photoreactive free fatty acid analogue, 12-[(4- azidosalicyl)amino]dodecanoic acid (ASD), and its 125I-labeled derivative acted as substrates for the NAPE synthase enzyme.
Dependence of the Kinetic Mechanism of Adenosine 3',5'-Monophosphate Dependent Protein Kinase Catalytic Subunit in the Direction of Magnesium Adenosine 5'-Diphosphate Phosphorylation on pH and the Concentration of Free Magnesium Ions
To define the overall kinetic and chemical mechanism of adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit, the mechanism in the direction of MgADP phosphorylation was determined, using studies of initial velocity in the absence and presence of dead-end inhibitors. The kinetic mechanism was determined as a function of uncomplexed Mg^2+ (Mg_f) at pH 7.2 and as a function of pH at low (0.5 mM) Mg_f. At pH 7.2 data are consistent with a random kinetic mechanism in the direction of MgADP phosphorylation with both pathways allowed: the pathway in which MgADP binds to enzyme prior to phosphorylated peptide (PSP) and that in which PSP binds before MgADP. One or the other pathway predominates, depending on Mg_f concentration. At 0.5 mM Mg_f, the mechanism is steady-state ordered with the pathway where PSP binds first preferred; at 10 mM Mg_f, the mechanism is equilibrium ordered, and the pathway in which MgADP binds first preferred. This change in mechanism to equilibrium ordered is due to an increase in affinity of enzyme for MgADP and a decrease in affinity for PSP. There is also a pH-dependent change in mechanism at 0.5 mM Mg_f. At pH 6 the mechanism is equilibrium ordered with the pathway where PSP binds first preferred. At pH 7.6 the mechanism is ordered with MgADP binding first. The log V/E_t vs. pH profile is pH-independent, suggesting only the correctly protonated form of each substrate binds to enzyme. The log V/K_MgADP vs. PH profile gives a pK of 7, likely that of a general acid, which must be protonated for activity. The pK_iPSP vs. pH profile gives a pK of 6.5, likely reflecting the peptide phosphoryl group, which must be unprotonated for activity.
Desensitized Phosphofructokinase from Ascaris suum: A Study in Noncooperative Allostery
The studies described in this dissertation examine the effects of F-2,6-P2 and AMP or phosphorylation on the kinetic mechanism of d-PFK. The effect of varied pH on the activation by F-2,6-P2 is also described.
Development of Enabling Technologies to Visualize the Plant Lipidome
Improvements in mass spectrometry (MS)-based strategies for characterizing the plant lipidome through quantitative and qualitative approaches such as shotgun lipidomics have substantially enhanced our understanding of the structural diversity and functional complexity of plant lipids. However, most of these approaches require chemical extractions that result in the loss of the original spatial context and cellular compartmentation for these compounds. To address this current limitation, several technologies were developed to visualize lipids in situ with detailed chemical information. A subcellular visualization approach, direct organelle MS, was developed for directly sampling and analyzing the triacylglycerol contents within purified lipid droplets (LDs) at the level of a single LD. Sampling of single LDs demonstrated seed lipid droplet-to-droplet variability in triacylglycerol (TAG) composition suggesting that there may be substantial variation in the intracellular packaging process for neutral lipids in plant tissues. A cellular and tissue visualization approach, MS imaging, was implemented and enhanced for visualizing the lipid distributions in oilseeds. In mature cotton seed embryos distributions of storage lipids (TAGs) and their phosphatidylcholine (PCs) precursors were distribution heterogeneous between the cotyledons and embryonic axis raising new questions about extent and regulation of oilseed heterogeneity. Extension of this methodology provides an avenue for understanding metabolism in cellular (perhaps even subcellular) context with substantial metabolic engineering implications. To visualize metabolite distributions, a free and customizable application, Metabolite Imager, was developed providing several tools for spatially-based chemical data analysis. These tools collectively enable new forms of visualizing the plant lipidome and should prove valuable toward addressing additional unanswered biological questions.
Fluorescence labeling and computational analysis of the strut of myosin's 50 kDa cleft.
In order to understand the structural changes in myosin S1, fluorescence polarization and computational dynamics simulations were used. Dynamics simulations on the S1 motor domain indicated that significant flexibility was present throughout the molecular model. The constrained opening versus closing of the 50 kDa cleft appeared to induce opposite directions of movement in the lever arm. A sequence called the "strut" which traverses the 50 kDa cleft and may play an important role in positioning the actomyosin binding interface during actin binding is thought to be intimately linked to distant structural changes in the myosin's nucleotide cleft and neck regions. To study the dynamics of the strut region, a method of fluorescent labeling of the strut was discovered using the dye CY3. CY3 served as a hydrophobic tag for purification by hydrophobic interaction chromatography which enabled the separation of labeled and unlabeled species of S1 including a fraction labeled specifically at the strut sequence. The high specificity of labeling was verified by proteolytic digestions, gel electrophoresis, and mass spectroscopy. Analysis of the labeled S1 by collisional quenching, fluorescence polarization, and actin-activated ATPase activity were consistent with predictions from structural models of the probe's location. Although the fluorescent intensity of the CY3 was insensitive to actin binding, its fluorescence polarization was notably affected. Intriguingly, the mobility of the probe increases upon S1 binding to actin suggesting that the CY3 becomes displaced from interactions with the surface of S1 and is consistent with a structural change in the strut due to cleft motions. Labeling the strut reduced the affinity of S1 for actin but did not prevent actin-activated ATPase activity which makes it a potentially useful probe of the actomyosin interface. The different conformations of myosin S1 indicated that the strut is not as flexible as several other key regions of myosin as determined by the application of force constraints to elastic portions of the myosin structure.
Fumarate Activation and Kinetic Solvent Isotope Effects as Probes of the NAD-Malic Enzyme Reaction
The kinetic mechanism of activation of the NAD-malic enzyme by fumarate and the transition state structure for the oxidation malate for the NAD-malic enzyme reaction have been studied. Fumarate exerts its activating effect by decreasing the off-rate for malate from the E:Mg:malate and E:Mg:NAD:malate complexes. The activation by fumarate results in a decrease in K_imalate and an increase in V/K_malate by about 2-fold, while the maximum velocity remains constant. A discrimination exists between active and activator sites for the binding of dicarboxylic acids. Activation by fumarate is proposed to have physiologic importance in the parasite. The hydride transfer transition state for the NAD-malic enzyme reaction is concerted with respect to solvent isotope sensitive and hydride transfer steps. Two protons are involved in the solvent isotope sensitive step, one with a normal fractionation factor, another with an inverse fractionation factor. A structure for the transition state for hydride transfer in the NAD-malic enzyme reaction is proposed.
Function of the ENOD8 gene in nodules of Medicago truncatula.
To elaborate on the function(s) of the ENOD8 gene in the nodules of M. truncatula, several different experimental approaches were used. A census of the ENOD8 genes was first completed indicating that only ENOD8.1 (nt10554-12564 of GenBank AF463407) is highly expressed in nodule tissues. A maltose binding protein-ENOD8 fusion protein was made with an E. coli recombinant system. A variety of biochemical assays were undertaken with the MBP-ENOD8 recombinant protein expressed in E. coli, which did not yield the esterase activity observed for ENOD8 protein nodule fractions purified from M. sativa, tested on general esterase substrates, α-naphthyl acetate, and p-nitrophenylacetate. Attempts were also made to express ENOD8 in a Pichia pastoris system; no ENOD8 protein could be detected from Pichia pastoris strains which were transformed with the ENOD8 expression cassette. Additionally, it was shown that the ENOD8 protein can be recombinantly synthesized by Nicotiana benthamiana in a soluble form, which could be tested for activity toward esterase substrates, bearing resemblance to nodule compounds, such as the Nod factor. Transcription localization studies using an ENOD8 promoter gusA fusion indicated that ENOD8 is expressed in the bacteroid-invaded zone of the nodule. The ENOD8 protein was also detected in that same zone by immunolocalization. Confocal immunomicroscopy with an affinity-purified anti-ENOD8 oligopeptide antibody showed that the ENOD8 protein localizes at the interface between the plant and the bacteroid-differentiated rhizobia, in the symbiosome membrane or symbiosome space. This suggests a possible link between ENOD8 protein and bacteroid differentiation, nitrogen fixation, or plant defense. These possible functions for ENOD8 could be tested with an ENOD8-RNAi transgenic line devoid of detectable ENOD8 proteins.
Functional Characterization of Mtnip/latd’s Biochemical and Biological Function
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Symbiotic nitrogen fixation occurs in plants harboring nitrogen-fixing bacteria within the plant tissue. The most widely studied association is between the legumes and rhizobia. In this relationship the plant (legumes) provides the bacteria (rhizobia) with reduced carbon derived from photosynthesis in exchange for reduced atmospheric nitrogen. This allows the plant to survive in soil, which is low in available of nitrogen. Rhizobia infect and enter plant root and reside in organs known as nodules. In the nodules the bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen. The association between the legume, Medicago truncatula and the bacteria Sinorhizobium meliloti, has been studied in detail. Medicago mutants that have defects in nodulation help us understand the process of nitrogen fixation better. One such mutant is the Mtnip-1. Mtnip-1 plants respond to S. meliloti by producing abnormal nodules in which numerous aberrant infection threads are produced, with very rare rhizobial release into host plant cells. The mutant plant Mtnip-1 has an abnormal defense-like response in root nodules as well as defects in lateral root development. Three alleles of the Mtnip/latd mutants, Mtnip-1, Mtlatd and Mtnip-3 show different degrees of severity in their phenotype. Phylogenetic analysis showed that MtNIP/LATD encodes a protein belonging to the NRT1(PTR) family of nitrate, peptide, dicarboxylate and phytohprmone transporters. Experiments with Mtnip/latd mutants demonstrats a defective nitrate response associated with low (250 μM) external nitrate concentration rather than high (5 mM) nitrate concentration. This suggests that the mutants have defective nitrate transport. To test if MtNIP/LATD was a nitrate transporter, Xenopus laevis oocytes and Arabidopsis thaliana mutant plants Atchl1-5, defective in a major nitrate transporter AtNRT1.1(CHL1), were used as surrogate expression systems. Heterologous expression of MtNIP/LATD in X. laevis oocytes and Atchl1-5 mutant plants conferred on them the ability to take up nitrate from external media with high affinity, thus demonstrating that MtNIP/LATD was a high affinity nitrate transporter. Km for MtNIP/LATD was determined to be approximately160 μM in the X. laevis system and 113 μM in the Arabidopsis Atchl1-5 mutant lines thus supporting the previous observation of MtNIP/LATD being a high affinity nitrate transporter. X. laevis expressing the mutant Mtnip-1 and Mtlatd, were unable to transport nitrate. However X. laevis oocytes, expressing the less severe mutant allele Mtnip-3 were able to transport nitrate suggesting another role of the Mtnip/latd besides high affinity nitrate transport. Experimental evidence suggested that MtNIP/LATD might transport another substrate beside nitrate. MtNIP/LATD levels are regulated by phytohormones. Experiments performed with ABA (abscisic acid), IAA (indole acetic acid) and histidine as substrates in X. laevis system show that the MtNIP/LATD mRNA injected oocytes efflux IAA but do not transport histidine or ABA. When wild type A17 and mutant Mtnip-1 and Mtnip-3 plants, grown in the presence of different sources of nitrogen were screened in herbicide chlorate, a structural analog of nitrate, the A17 and Mtnip-3 mutant showed levels of susceptibility that was different from mutant Mtnip-1 lines. Evidence suggested that the amount of chlorate transported into the plants were regulated by the C:N status of the A17 and Mtnip-3 plants. This regulation was missing in the Mtnip-1 lines thus suggesting a sensor function of MtNIP/LATD gene.
Functional Characterization of Plant Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolases
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) terminates the endocannabinoid signaling pathway that regulates numerous neurobehavioral processes in animals by hydrolyzing a class of lipid mediators, N-acylethanolamines (NAEs). Recent identification of an Arabidopsis FAAH homologue (AtFAAH) and several studies, especially those using AtFAAH overexpressing and knock-out lines suggest that a FAAH-mediated pathway exists in plants for the metabolism of endogenous NAEs. Here, I provide evidence to support this concept by identifying candidate FAAH cDNA sequences in diverse plant species. NAE amidohydrolase assays confirmed that several of the proteins encoded by these cDNAs indeed catalyzed the hydrolysis of NAEs in vitro. Kinetic parameters, inhibition properties, and substrate specificities of the plant FAAH enzymes were very similar to those of mammalian FAAH. Five amino acid residues determined to be important for catalysis by rat FAAH were absolutely conserved within the plant FAAH sequences. Site-directed mutation of each of the five putative catalytic residues in AtFAAH abolished its hydrolytic activity when expressed in Escherichia coli. Contrary to overexpression of native AtFAAH in Arabidopsis that results in enhanced seedling growth, and in seedlings that were insensitive to exogenous NAE, overexpression of the inactive AtFAAH mutants showed no growth enhancement and no NAE tolerance. However, both active and inactive AtFAAH overexpressors displayed hypersensitivity to ABA, suggesting a function of the enzyme independent of its catalytic activity toward NAE substrates. Yeast two-hybrid screening identified Arg/Ser-rich zinc knuckle-containing protein as a candidate protein that physically and domain-specifically interacts with AtFAAH and its T-DNA knock-out Arabidopsis was hypersensitive to ABA to a degree similar to AtFAAH overexpressors. Taken together, AtFAAH appears to have a bifurcating function, via NAE hydrolysis and protein-protein interaction, to control Arabidopsis growth and interaction with phytohormone signaling pathways. These studies help to functionally define the group of enzymes that metabolize NAEs in plants, and further will expand the knowledge-base of lipid metabolism and signaling for manipulation of various physiological processes important to plant growth and responses to environmental stress.
Identification of Endogenous Substrates for ADP-Ribosylation in Rat Liver
Bacterial toxins have been shown to modify animal cell proteins in vivo with ADPR. Animal cells also contain endogenous enzymes that can modify proteins. Indirect evidence for the existence in vivo of rat liver proteins modified by ADPR on arginine residues has been reported previously. Presented here is direct evidence for the existence of ADP-ribosylarginine in rat liver proteins. Proteins were subjected to exhaustive protease digestion and ADP-ribosyl amino acids were isolated by boronate chromatography.
Identification of Three Symbiosome Targeting Domains in the MtENOD8 Protein and Cell-to-cell MtENOD8 mRNA Movement in Nodules
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The model legume, Medicago truncatula, is able to enter into a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, known as rhizobia. This relationship involves a carbon for nitrogen exchange in which the plant provides reduced carbon from photosynthesis in exchange for reduced, or “fixed” atmospheric nitrogen, which allows the plant to thrive in nitrogen depleted soils. Rhizobia infect and enter plant root organs, known as nodules, where they reside inside the plant cell in a novel organelle, known as the symbiosome where nitrogen fixation occurs. the symbiosome is enriched in plant proteins, however, little is known about the mechanisms that direct plant proteins to the symbiosome. Using the M. truncatula ENOD8 (MtENOD8) protein as a model to explore symbiosome protein targeting, 3-cis domains were identified within MtENOD8 capable of directing green fluorescent protein (GFP) to the symbiosome, including its N-terminal signal peptide (SP). the SP delivered GFP to the vacuole in the absence of nodules suggesting that symbiosome proteins share a common targeting pathway with vacuolar proteins. a time course analysis during nodulation indicated that there is a nodule specific redirection of MtENOD8-SP from the vacuole to the symbiosome in a MtNIP/LATD dependent manner. GFP expression by the MtENOD8 promoter revealed spatial discrepancy between promoter activity and protein localization. in situ localization of MtENOD8 mRNA showed localization to infected cells, where the protein is found, suggesting mRNA cell-to-cell movement. Expression of MtENOD8 in Arabidopsis showed that the SP did not direct GFP to the vacuole indicating that vacuolar targeting of MtENOD8’s SP may be legume specific. Taken together, the research presented here indicates that the MtENOD8 symbiosome protein has evolved redundant domains for targeting, which has part of a common pathway with vacuolar proteins. Observed spatial discrepancy between the MtENOD8 promoter and protein shows additional mechanisms of gene regulation through cell-to-cell mRNA movement, previously unknown in nodules.
Kinetic and Chemical Mechanism of 6-phosphogluconate Dehydrogenase from Candida Utilis
A complete initial velocity study of the 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase from Candida utilis in both reaction directions suggests a rapid equilibrium random kinetic mechanism with dead-end E:NADP:(ribulose 5-phosphate) and E:NADPH:(6- phosphogluconate) complexes. Initial velocity studies obtained as a function of pH and using NAD as the dinucleotide substrate for the reaction suggest that the 2'-phosphate is critical for productive binding of the dinucleotide substrate. Primary deuterium isotope effects using 3-<i-6-phosphogluconate were obtained for the 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase reaction using NADP and various alternative inucleotide substrates.
Kinetic and Chemical Mechanism of O-Acetylserine Sulfhydrylase-B from Salmonella Typhimurium
Initial velocity studies of O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B (OASS-B) from Salmonella typhimurium using both natural and alternative substrates suggest a Bi Bi ping pong kinetic mechanism with double substrate competitive inhibition. The ping pong mechanism is corroborated by a qualitative and quantitative analysis of product and dead-end inhibition. Product inhibition by acetate is S-parabolic noncompetitive, indication of a combination of acetate with E followed by OAS. These data suggest some randomness to the OASS-B kinetic mechanism. The pH dependence of kinetic parameters was determined in order to obtain information on the acid-base chemical mechanism for the OASS-B reaction. A mechanism is proposed in which an enzyme general base accepts a proton from α-amine of O-acetylserine, while a second enzyme general base acts by polarizing the acetyl carbonyl assisting in the β-elimination of the acetyl group of O-acetylserine. The ε-amine of the active site lysine acts as a general base to abstract the α-proton in the β-elimination of acetate. At the end of the first half reaction the ε-amine of the active site lysine that formed the internal Schiff base and the general base are protonated. The resulting α-aminoacrylate intermediate undergoes a Michael addition with HS‾ and the active site lysine donates its proton to the α-carbon to give cysteine and regenerate enzyme to start the second half reaction. In addition, substrate specificity, stereochemistry of the internal Schiff base at C4', and sequence around active site lysine of O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A have been determined. The [4'-^3H]pyridoxamine generated by reduction of the internal Schiff base with sodium [^3H]borohydride retained most of its tritium after incubation with apoaspartate aminotransferase. These results agree with the hypothesis put forth by Dunathan (Dunathan, 1971; Dunathan and Voet, 1974) that a single surface (Re face) of the active site PLP is accessible to solvent. The sequence around the active site lysine is AsnProSerPheSerValLysCysArg.
Kinetic and Chemical Mechanism of Pyrophosphate-Dependent Phosphofructokinase
Data obtained from isotope exchange at equilibrium, exchange of inorganic phosphate against forward reaction flux, and positional isotope exchange of 18O from the (βγ-bridge position of pyrophosphate to a (β-nonbridge position all indicate that the pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase from Propionibacterium freudenreichii has a rapid equilibrium random kinetic mechanism. All exchange reactions are strongly inhibited at high concentrations of the fructose 6-phosphate/Pi and MgPPi/Pi substrate-product pairs and weakly inhibited at high concentrations of the MgPPi/fructose 1,6-bisphosphate pair suggesting three dead-end complexes, E:F6P:Pi, E:MgPPi:Pi, and E:FBP:MgPPi. Neither back-exchange by [32p] nor positional isotope exchange of 18O-bridge-labeled pyrophosphate was observed under any conditions, suggesting that either the chemical interconversion step or a step prior to it limits the overall rate of the reaction. Reduction of the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate-inactivated enzyme with NaB[3H]4 indicates that about 7 lysines are modified in free enzyme and fructose 1,6-bisphosphate protects 2 of these from modification. The pH dependence of the enzyme-reactant dissociation constants suggests that the phosphates of fructose 6-phosphate, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, inorganic phosphate, and Mg-pyrophosphate must be completely ionized and that lysines are present in the vicinity of the 1- and 6-phosphates of the sugar phosphate and bisphosphates probably directly coordinated to these phosphates. The pH dependence of kinetic parameters suggests that the enzyme catalyzes its reaction via general acid-base catalysis with the use of a proton shuttle. The base is required unprotonated in both reaction directions. In the direction of fructose 6-phosphate phosphorylation the base accepts a proton from the hydroxyl at C-l of F6P and then donates it to protonate the leaving phosphate. The maximum velocity of the reaction is pH independent in both reaction directions while V/K profiles exhibit pKs for binding groups (including enzyme and reactant functional groups) as well as pKs for enzyme catalytic groups. These data suggest that reactants bind only when correctly protonated and only to the correctly protonated form of the enzyme.
Luminescence Resonance Energy Transfer-Based Modeling of Troponin in the Presence of Myosin and Troponin/Tropomyosin Defining Myosin Binding Target Zones in the Reconstituted Thin Filament
Mechanistic details on the regulation of striated muscle contraction still need to be determined, particularly the specific structural locations of the elements comprising the thick and thin filaments. Of special interest is the location of the regulatory component, troponin, on the actin filament and how its presence influences the behavior of myosin binding to the thin filament. In the present study: (1) Luminescence resonance energy transfer was used to monitor potential conformational changes in the reconstituted thin filament between the C-terminal region of troponin T and myosin subfragment 1; (2) Location of troponin in previously derived atomic models of the acto-myosin complex was mapped to visualize specific contacts; and (3) Shortened tropomyosin was engineered and protein binding and ATPase assays were performed to study the effect of myosin binding close to the troponin complex. Analysis of the results suggest the following: (1) Irrespective of calcium levels, the C-terminal region of troponin T is located close to myosin loop 3 and a few actin helices that may perturb strong acto-myosin interactions responsible for force production. (2) Atomic models indicate myosin subfragment 1 cannot attain the post- powerstroke state due to the full motion of the lever arm being sterically hindered by troponin. (3) A shortened tropomyosin with five actin binding modules (instead of the native seven in muscle cells) binds actin contiguously in a head-to-tail manner and serves to increase the periodicity of troponin complexes on the actin filament. Such behavior eliminates the structure of the actin filament being responsible for the binding location of tropomyosin. (4) Differential behavior of myosin subfragment 1 i.e. (a) binding adjacent to troponin and (b) binding further away from troponin, is apparent as tropomyosin and troponin appear to govern the regions or "target zones" where myosin can bind productively along the actin filament. Physiologically, myosins able to bind close to troponin, but not participate in force production may function as mechanical sensors to attenuate or dampen the force generated from the so-called "target zones". Therefore, this could be a pseudo-regulatory mechanism that functions to protect the contractile apparatus from damage.
Manipulating Sucrose Proton Symporters to Understand Phloem Loading
Phloem vascular tissues transport sugars synthesized by photosynthesis in mature leaves by a process called phloem loading in source tissues and unloading in sink tissues. Phloem loading in source leaves is catalyzed by Suc/H+ symporters (SUTs) which are energized by proton motive force. In Arabidopsis the principal and perhaps exclusive SUT catalyzing phloem loading is AtSUC2. In mutant plants harboring a T-DNA insertion in each of the functional SUT-family members, only Atsuc2 mutants demonstrate overtly debilitated phloem transport. Analysis of a mutant allele (Atsuc2-4) of AtSUC2 with a T-DNA insertion in the second intron showed severely stunted phenotype similar to previously analyzed Atsuc2 null alleles. However unlike previous alleles Atsuc2-4 produced viable seeds. Analysis of phloem specific promoters showed that promoter expression was regulated by Suc concentration. Unlike AtSUC2p, heterologous promoter CoYMVp was not repressed under high Suc conc. Further analysis was conducted using CoYMVp to test the capacity of diverse clades in SUT-gene family for transferring Suc in planta in Atsuc2 - / - mutant background. AtSUC1 and ZmSUT1 from maize complemented Atsuc2 mutant plants to the highest level compared to all other transporters. Over-expression of the above SUTs in phloem showed enhanced Suc loading and transport, but against expectations, plants were stunted. The implications of SUT over-expression to enhance phloem transport and loading are discussed and how it induces a perception of phosphate imbalance is presented.
Mechanism of the Adenosine 3',5'-Monophosphate Dependent Protein Kinase
Isotope partitioning experiments were carried out with the adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (cAPK) from bovine hearts to obtain information on the order of addition of reactants and the relative rates of reactant release from enzyme compared to the catalytic step(s). A value of 100% trapping for both ErMgATP-[γ-32P] and E:3H-Serpeptide at low Mgf indicates that MgATP and Serpeptide dissociate slowly from the enzyme compared to the catalytic step(s). The K_Serpeptide for MgATP trapping is 17 μM, while the K_MgATP for Serpeptide trapping is 0.58 mM. The latter data indicate that the off-rate for MgATP from the E:MgATP complex is 14 s^-1 while that for Serpeptide from the E: Serpeptide complex is 64 s^-1. At high Mg^, 100% trapping is obtained for the E:MgATP-[γ-32P] complex but only 40% is obtained for the E:Serpeptide complex. Thus, the off-rate for Serpeptide from the E:MgATP:Serpeptide complex becomes significant at high Mg_f. Data suggest a random mechanism in which MgATP is sticky. The V for the cAPK reaction increases 1.5-1.7 fold in the presence of the R_II in the presence of saturating cAMP at a stoichiometry of R:C of 1:1. No change is obtained with the type-I complex under these conditions. At higher ratio of R:C (up to 100) no further change is observed with the type-II complex but inhibition by the type-I R_2(cAMP)_4 complex competitive vs. Serpeptide is observed. The activiation observed in the presence type-II R_2(cAMP)_4 effects neither the K_m for Serpeptide nor the K_m for MgATP. Both the activating affect of the type-II complex and the inhibitory effect of the type-I complex are dependent on the Mg_f with more type-II activation obtained the higher the Mg_f and more type-I complex required for inhibition the higher the Mg_f. The activation and inhibition are discussed in terms of the mechanism of the protein kinase.
Molecular and Functional Characterization of Medicago Truncatula Npf17 Gene
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Legumes are unique among plants for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen with the help of soil bacteria rhizobia. Medicago truncatula is used as a model legume to study different aspects of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. M. truncatula, in association with its symbiotic partner Sinorhizobium meliloti, fix atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, which the plant uses for amino acid biosynthesis and the bacteria get reduced photosynthate in return. M. truncatula NPF1.7 previously called MtNIP/LATD is required for symbiotic nitrogen fixing root nodule development and for normal root architecture. Mutations in MtNPF1.7 have defects in these processes. MtNPF1.7 encodes a member of the NPF family of transporters. Experimental results showing that MtNPF1.7 functioning as a high-affinity nitrate transporter are its expression restoring chlorate susceptibility to the Arabidopsis chl1-5 mutant and high nitrate transport in Xenopus laevis oocyte system. However, the weakest Mtnip-3 mutant allele also displays high-affinity nitrate transport in X. laevis oocytes and chlorate susceptibility to the Atchl1-5 mutant, suggesting that MtNPF1.7 might have another biochemical function. Experimental evidence shows that MtNPF1.7 also functions in hormone signaling. Constitutive expression of MtNPF1.7 in several species including M. truncatula results in plants with a robust growth phenotype. Using a synthetic auxin reporter, the presence of higher auxin in both the Mtnip-1 mutant and in M. truncatula plants constitutively expressing MtNPF1.7 was observed. Previous experiments showed MtNPF1.7 expression is hormone regulated and the MtNPF1.7 promoter is active in root and nodule meristems and in the vasculature. Two potential binding sites for an auxin response factors (ARFs) were found in the MtNPF1.7 promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-qRT-PCR confirmed MtARF1 binding these sites. Mutating the MtARF1 binding sites increases MtNPF1.7 expression, suggesting a mechanism for auxin repression of MtNPF1.7. Consistent with these results, constitutive expression of an ARF in wild-type plants partially phenocopies Mtnip-1 mutants’ phenotypes.
Nucleotide Inhibition of Glyoxalase II
The glyoxalase system mediates the conversion of methylglyoxal, a toxic ketoaldehyde, to D-lactic acid. The system is composed of two enzymes, glyoxalase I (Glo-I) and glyoxalase II (Glo-II), and exhibits an absolute requirement for a catalytic quantity of glutathione (GSH). Glo-I catalyzes the isomerization of a hemithioacetal, formed non-enzymatically from methylglyoxal and GSH, to the corresponding a -D-hydroxyacid thioester, s-D-lactoylglutathione (SLG). Glo-II catalyzes the irreversible breakdown of SLG to D-lactate and GSH. We have observed that ATP or GTP significantly inhibits the Glo-II activity of tissue homogenates from various sources. We have developed a rapid, one step chromatography procedure to purify Glo-II such that the purified enzyme remains "sensitive" to inhibition by ATP or GTP (Glo-II-s). Studies indicate that inhibition of Glo-II-s by nucleotides is restricted to ATP, GTP, ADP, and GDP, with ATP appearing most effective. Kinetics studies have shown that ATP acts as a partial non-competitive inhibitor of Glo-II-s activity, and further suggest that two kinetically distinguishable forms of the enzyme exist. The sensitivity of pure Glo-II-s to nucleotide inhibition is slowly lost on storage even at -80° C. This loss is accelerated at higher temperatures or in the presence of ATP. Kinetics studies on the resultant "insensitive" enzyme (Glo-II-i) show that a significant reduction of the affinity of the enzyme for the substrate, SLG, occurs and further suggest that only one form of the enzyme is kinetically distinguishable after "de-sensitization". Tryptophan fluorescence studies of the two enzyme preparations suggest that a subtle conformational change in the enzyme has occurred during de-sensitization. We have also observed that Glo-II-i is "resensitized" to nucleotide inhibition after incubation in the presence of a reagent that reduces disulfide bonds. The resensitized enzyme exhibits an increased KM value similar to that of the original Glo-II-s. Kinetics studies show that ATP or GTP again act as partial non-competitive inhibitors of the resensitized enzyme and suggest that only one form of the enzyme is present. The physiological significance of the two enzyme forms is discussed.
Palmitoyl-acyl carrier protein thioesterase in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.): biochemical and molecular characterization of a major mechanism for the regulation of palmitic acid content.
The relatively high level of palmitic acid (22 mol%) in cottonseeds may be due in part to the activity of a palmitoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) thioesterase (PATE). In embryo extracts, PATE activity was highest at the maximum rate of reserve accumulation (oil and protein). The cotton FatB mRNA transcript abundance also peaked during this developmental stage, paralleling the profiles of PATE enzyme activity and seed oil accumulation. A cotton FatB cDNA clone was isolated by screening a cDNA library with a heterologous Arabidopsis FatB probe (Pirtle et al., 1999, Plant and Cell Physiology 40: 155-163). The predicted amino acid sequence of the cotton PATE preprotein had 63% identity to the Arabidopsis FatB thioesterase sequence, suggesting that the cotton cDNA clone probably encoded a FatB-type thioesterase. When acyl-CoA synthetase-minus E. coli mutants expressed the cotton cDNA, an increase in 16:0 free fatty acid content was measured in the culture medium. In addition, acyl-ACP thioesterase activity assays in E. coli lysates revealed that there was a preference for palmitoyl-ACP over oleoyl-ACP in vitro, indicating that the cotton putative FatB cDNA encoded a functional thioesterase with a preference for saturated acyl-ACPs over unsaturated acyl-ACPs (FatA). Overexpression of the FatB cDNA in transgenic cotton resulted in elevated levels of palmitic acid in transgenic somatic embryos compared to control embryos. Expression of the anti-sense FatB cDNA in transgenic cotton plants produced some plants with a dwarf phenotype. These plants had significantly smaller mature leaves, all with smaller cells, suggesting that these plants may have less palmitic acid available for incorporation into extraplastidial membrane lipids during cell expansion. Thus manipulation of FatB expression in cotton directly influenced palmitic acid levels. Collectively, data presented in this dissertation support the hypothesis that there indeed is a palmitoyl-ACP thioesterase in cotton, encoded by the isolated FatB cDNA, which plays a major role in regulating palmitic acid content of extraplastidial complex glycerolipids. This work forms the basis for future studies of the influence of palmitic acid content on plant membrane function and provides a key target for the metabolic engineering of palmitic acid levels in storage oils of developing cottonseeds.
Plastidial carbonic anhydrase in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.): characterization, expression, and role in lipid biosynthesis
Recently, plastidial carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC cDNA clones encoding functional CA enzymes were isolated from a nonphotosynthetic cotton tissue. The role of CA in photosynthetic tissues have been well characterized, however there is almost no information for the role of CA in nonphotosynthetic tissues. A survey of relative CA transcript abundance and enzyme activity in different cotton organs revealed that there was substantial CA expression in cotyledons of seedlings and embryos, both nonphotosynthetic tissues. To gain insight into the role(s) of CA, I examined CA expression in cotyledons of seedlings during post-germinative growth at different environmental conditions. CA expression in cotyledons of seedlings increased from 18 h to 72 h after germination in the dark. Seedlings exposed to light had about a 2-fold increase in CA activities when compared with seedlings kept in the dark, whereas relative CA transcript levels were essentially the same. Manipulation of external CO2 environments [zero, ambient (350 ppm), or high (1000 ppm)] modulated coordinately the relative transcript abundance of CA (and rbcS) in cotyledons, but did not affect enzyme activities. On the other hand, regardless of the external CO2 conditions seedlings exposed to light exhibited increase CA activity, concomitant with Rubisco activity and increased chlorophyll content. Our data revealed that steady-state levels of CA and rbcS transcripts are regulated at the transcriptional level in response to external CO2 conditions, while CA and Rubisco activities are modulated at the post-transcriptional level by light. Thus CA expression in cotyledons during post-germinative growth may be to “prime” cotyledons for the transition at the subcellular level for the transition from plastids to chloroplasts, where it provides CO2 for Rubisco during photosynthesis. Furthermore, CA expression increased during embryo maturation similar to oil accumulation. Specific sulfonamide inhibitors of CA activity significantly reduced the rate of [14C]-acetate incorporation into total lipids in cotton embryos and tobacco leaves and cell suspensions in vivo and in vitro. Similar results were obtained in chloroplasts isolated from leaves of transgenic CA antisense-suppressed tobacco plants (5% of wildtype activity). Collectively, these results support the notion that CA plays several physiological roles in nonphotosynthetic tissues.
Proteomic Responses in the Gill of Zebrafish Following Exposure to Ibuprofen and Naproxen
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most abundant environmental pharmaceutical contaminants. In this study, a proteomic analysis was conducted to identify proteins differentially expressed in gill tissue of zebrafish (Danio rerio) after a 14-day exposure to the NSAIDs ibuprofen or naproxen. A total of 104 proteins with altered expression as indicated by 2-dimensional electrophoresis were analyzed by liquid chromatography with ion trap mass spectrometry (MS/MS). A total of 14 proteins fulfilled our requirements for identification which included consistency among replicate gels as well as successful MS/MS ion searches with the MASCOT database. The most prominent feature of the differential protein expression observed after NSAID exposure was an up-regulation of proteins belonging to the globin family which are involved in the transport of oxygen from gills and availability of heme molecules required for synthesis of cyclooxygenase. Differential expression was observed at exposure concentrations as low as 1-10 µg/L indicating that altered gene expression may occur in fish subjected to environmentally realistic levels of NSAID exposure.
The structure and function of troponin T upon metal ion binding and the detection of nucleic acid sequence variations.
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Numerous troponin T (TnT) isoforms are generated by alternative RNA splicing primarily in its NH2-terminal hypervariable region, but the functions of these isoforms are not completely understood. In this dissertation work, calcium and terbium binding behavior of several forms of TnT were investigated by spectroscopic and radioactive techniques. Chicken breast muscle TnT binds calcium and terbium through its NH2-terminal Tx motif (HEEAH)n with high affinity (10-6 mM) and fast on-rate (106 - 107 M-1 s-1). Chicken leg muscle TnT and a human cardiac TnT NH2-terminal fragment, which both lack the Tx motif on their NH2-terminal regions, do not have affinities for calcium in the physiological range. Computational predictions on TnT N47 suggest that the TnT NH2-terminal region might fold into an elongated structure with at least one high affinity metal ion binding pocket comprised primarily of the Tx motif sequence and several lower affinity binding sites. In addition, calcium binding to TnT N47 might alter its conformation and flexibility. Luminescence resonance energy transfer measurements and other experimental observations are consistent with the computational predictions suggesting the computational simulated atomic model is reasonable. TnT mutations are responsible for 15% of familiar hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) cases with a phenotype of relatively mild hypertrophy, but a high incidence of sudden death. Detection of those genetic mutations would facilitate the clinical diagnosis and initiation of treatment at an early stage. This dissertation also investigated a novel hybridization proximity assay (HYPA) combining molecular beacon and luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET) technologies. Experimental results suggest that a shared stem probe design produces a more consistent response upon hybridization, whereas the internally labeled probe was less consistent, but can yield the highest responses. Using the optimally designed molecular probes, the HYPA provides a detection of alterations in nucleic acid structure of as little as a single nucleotide. This novel HYPA is expected to expand its applications in the analysis and screening of genetic diseases.
Studies of the Mechanism of Plasma Cholesterol Esterification in Aged Rats
The study was performed to determine factors influencing the esteriflcation of plasma cholesterol in young and aged rats. The distribution of LCAT activity was determined following gel nitration chromatography and ultracentrifugation of whole plasma respectively. When rat plasma was fractionated on a Bio-Gel A-5 Mcolumn, LCAT activity was found to be associated with the HDL fraction. A similar result was observed upon 24 hr density gradient ultracentrifugation of the plasma. However, following prolonged 40 hr preparative ultracentrifugation, the majority of the LCAT activity was displaced into the lipoprotein-free infranatant fraction (d> 1.225 g/ml). The dissociation of LCAT from the HDL fraction occured to a smaller extent in aged rat plasma than in young rat plasma. Plasma incubation (37°C) experiments followed by the isolation of lipoproteins and the subsequent analysis of their cholesterol content revealed that in vitro net esteriflcation of free cholesterol (FC) by LCAT as well as the fractional ufilization of HDL-FC as substrate were lower in the plasma of the aged animal as compared to that of the young animal despite the fact that the total pool of FC was higher in the former. The net transfer of FC from lower density lipoproteins (d<1.07 g/ml) to HDL provided the FC (in addition to HDL-FC) for esteriflcation in the plasma of both young and aged rats, and this process was not substantially affected by aging. Substrate specificity studies indicated that HDL from young rats was a better substrate for LCAT than the HDL from aged rats. The HDL isolated from the plasma of aged rats was enriched with apo E and had a considerably higher molecular weight than the HDL from young rat plasma. The ratio of phosphatidyl choline/sphingomyelin was lower in the HDL of aged rats. These data suggest that the decreased plasma cholesterol esteriflcation in aged rats is due to changes in the composition and size of the lipoprotein substrate (HDL).
Studies of the Mechanism of the Catalytic Subunit of cAMP Dependent Protein Kinase
The kinetic mechanism of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase has been determined to be random in the direction of MgADP phosphorylation by using initial velocity studies in the absence and presence of the product, phospho-Serpeptide (Leu-Arg-Arg-Ala-Ser[P]-Leu-Gly) , and dead-end inhibitors. In contrast to the kinetic parameters obtained in the direction of Serpeptide phosphorylation, the only kinetic parameters affected by Mg^2+ are the dissociation constants for E:phospho-Serpeptide and E:MgADP, which are decreased by about 4-fold. The dead-end analog MgAMPCP binds with an affinity equal to that of MgADP in contrast to MgAMPPCP, which binds weaker than MgATP. The ratio of the maximum velocities in the forward and reverse reactions is about 200, and the Haldane relationship gives a K-eq of (7.2 ± 2) x 10^2. The latter can be compared to the K-eq obtained by direct measurement of reactant concentrations (2.2 ± 0.4) x 10^3 and 31-P NMR (1 ± 0.5) x 10^3. Data for the pH dependence of kinetic parameters and inhibitor dissociation constants for the cAMP dependent protein kinase are consistent with a mechanism in which reactants selectively bind to an enzyme with the catalytic base unprotonated and an enzyme group required protonated for Ser-peptide binding. Preferentially MgATP binds fully ionized and requires an enzyme residue (probably lysine) to be protonated. The maximum velocity and V/K-MgATP are pH independent. The V/K for Serpeptide is bell-shaped with estimated pK values of 6.2 and 8.5. The dependence of 1/K-i for Leu-Arg-Arg-Ala-Ala-Leu-Gly is also bell-shaped, giving pK values identical with those obtained for V/K-Serpeptide, while the K-i for MgAMPPCP increases from a constant value of 650 μM above pH 8 to a constant value of 4 mM below pH 5.5. The K-i for uncomplexed Mg^2+ obtained from the Mg^2+ dependence of V and V/K-MgATP is apparently pH independent.
A Study of the Intrinsic Fluorescence of O-Acetyl-L-Serine Sulfhydrylase-A from Salmonella typhimurium
O-Acetyl-L-serine sulfhydrylase-A (OASS-A) forms acetate and L-cysteine from O-acetyl-L-serine (OAS) and sulfide. One molecule of the cofactor pyridoxal 5'- phosphate (PLP) is bound in each holoenzyme protomer.