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Biochemistry. 2004 Jul 20;43(28):9234-42.

Characterization of the purified hyaluronan synthase from Streptococcus equisimilis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Oklahoma Center for Medical Glycobiology and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73190, USA.


Hyaluronan synthase (HAS) utilizes UDP-GlcUA and UDP-GlcNAc in the presence of Mg(2+) to form the GAG hyaluronan (HA). The purified HAS from Streptococcus equisimilis (seHAS) shows high fidelity in that it only polymerizes the native substrates, UDP-GlcNAc and UDP-GlcUA. However, other uridinyl nucleotides and UDP-sugars inhibited enzyme activity, including UDP-GalNAc, UDP-Glc, UDP-Gal, UDP-GalUA, UMP, UDP, and UTP. Purified seHAS was approximately 40% more active in 25 mM, compared to 50 mM, PO(4) in the presence of either 50 mM NaCl or KCl, and displayed a slight preference for KCl over NaCl. The pH profile was surprisingly broad, with an effective range of pH 6.5-11.5 and the optimum between pH 9 and 10. SeHAS displayed two apparent pK(a) values at pH 6.6 and 11.8. As the pH was increased from approximately 6.5, both K(m) and V(max) increased until pH approximately 10.5, above which the kinetic constants gradually declined. Nonetheless, the overall catalytic constant (120/s) was essentially unchanged from pH 6.5 to 10.5. The enzyme is temperature labile, but more stable in the presence of substrate and cardiolipin. Purified seHAS requires exogenous cardiolipin for activity and is very sensitive to the fatty acyl composition of the phospholipid. The enzyme was inactive or highly activated by synthetic cardiolipins containing, respectively, C14:0 or C18:1(Delta9) fatty acids. The apparent E(act) for HA synthesis is 40 kJ (9.5 kcal/mol) disaccharide. Increasing the viscosity by increasing concentrations of PEG, ethylene glycol, glycerol, or sucrose inhibited seHAS activity. For PEGs, the extent of inhibition was proportional to their molecular mass. PEGs with average masses of 2.7, 11.7, and 20 kg/mol caused 50% inhibition of V(max) at 21, 6.5, and 3.5 mM, respectively. The apparent K(i) values for ethylene glycol, glycerol, and sucrose were, respectively, 4.5, 3.3, and 1.2 mM.

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