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Carbohydr Res. 2000 Aug 7;327(4):385-93.

Different action patterns for apple pectin methylesterase at pH 7.0 and 4.5.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Recherches Cidricoles, Biotransformation des Fruits et Legumes, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Le Rheu, France.


The mechanism of action of purified apple pectin methylesterase on pectin (degree of methoxylation: DM 75) and methoxylated homogalacturonans (DM 70 and 90) was studied at pH 7.0 (optimal pH of the enzyme) and at pH 4.5 (close to the pH of apple juice). Different interchain distributions of the free carboxyl groups were obtained at pH 7.0 and 4.5: high-performance ion exchange chromatography indicated a typical single chain mechanism at pH 7.0, but a mechanism differing from the single and multiple chain ones at pH 4.5. However, the same intrachain distribution of the newly demethoxylated galacturonic acid residues was observed for both pHs by 1H NMR. The high content of consecutive de-esterified or consecutive esterified galacturonic acid residues suggested that apple PME acted with a multiple attack mechanism on the pectic substrate. The degree of multiple attack of the enzyme was greater than or equal to 10-11.

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