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J Biol Chem. 1988 Aug 25;263(24):11624-6.

Inhibitor-induced enzyme activation in organic solvents.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


The enzymatic activity of the protease subtilisin in anhydrous organic solvents can be dramatically increased by pretreating the enzyme before it is placed in the nonaqueous medium. For instance, lyophilization of subtilisin from aqueous solution containing competitive inhibitors (followed by their removal) created an enzyme which was up to 100 times more active than the enzyme lyophilized in the absence of such ligands. This phenomenon of ligand-induced "enzyme memory" also extends to the stability, affinity, and substrate specificity of subtilisin in organic solvents.

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