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EMBO J. 1983;2(12):2333-9.

Nodulin-35: a subunit of specific uricase (uricase II) induced and localized in the uninfected cells of soybean nodules.

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  • 1Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada H3A 1B1.


Nodulin-35, a protein specific to soybean root nodules, was purified under non-denaturing conditions (DEAE-cellulose followed by Sephacryl S-200 chromatography) to homogeneity. The holoprotein showed uricase (EC activity. Analytical ultracentrifugation under non-denaturing conditions revealed a molecule of 124 kd, S degrees (20W) = 8.1; however, under denaturing conditions a value of 33 kd, S degrees (20W) = 1.9, was obtained. This indicated that nodulin-35 is the 33-kd subunit of a specific soybean root nodule uricase (uricase II) and that the enzyme contains four similar subunits. The native molecule contains 1.0 mol Cu per mol, has an isoelectric point of 9.0 and a pH optimum for uricase activity at 9.5. Uricase activity found in young uninfected soybean roots is due to another form of enzyme (uricase I) which is of 190 kd, has maximum activity at pH 8.0 and does not contain any subunit corresponding in size to nodulin-35. Uricase I, also present in young infected roots, declines at a time when nodulin-35 appears. Monospecific antibodies prepared against uricase II (nodulin-35) showed no cross-reactivity. Uricase II was localized in the uninfected cells of the nodule tissue. These results are consistent with the concept that a nodule-specific ureide metabolism takes place in peroxisomes of uninfected cells, and suggest the participation of uricase II in this pathway.

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