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Biochem J. 1999 Aug 1;341 ( Pt 3):725-32.

An unusual case of 'uncompetitive activation' by ascorbic acid: purification and kinetic properties of a myrosinase from Raphanus sativus seedlings.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Myrosinase (thioglucoside glucohydrolase; EC is a plant enzyme that hydrolyses glucosinolates, principally to isothiocyanates. Myrosinase was purified to homogeneity in good yield from 8-day-old seedlings of Raphanus sativus (daikon) using a four-step procedure involving chromatographies on anion exchange, hydrophobic Phenyl-Sepharose, gel filtration and concanavalin A-Sepharose. In order to stabilize the enzyme and to avoid excessive peak broadening during chromatography, 30% (v/v) glycerol was added to dialysis and chromatography buffers. The purified enzyme was eluted as a single peak from a gel-filtration sizing column with an apparent molecular mass of 120 kDa. The enzyme was resolved into two subunits with molecular masses of 61 and 62 kDa by SDS/PAGE. Ascorbic acid activated the purified enzyme more than 100-fold. The V(max) and K(m) values for the hydrolysis of allyl glucosinolate (sinigrin) were 2.06 micromol/min per mg of protein and 23 microM in the absence of ascorbate and 280 micromol/min per mg of protein and 250 microM in the presence of 500 microM ascorbate, respectively. As the ascorbate concentration was increased from 50 to 500 microM, the V(max) and K(m) values increased in parallel, and thus the V(max)/K(m) ratio remained constant. Similarly, raising the concentrations of sinigrin increased the concentration of ascorbic acid required for half-maximal activation (K(a)). At a sinigrin concentration of 250 microM, the K(a) for ascorbic acid was 55 microM. Sulphate, a reaction product, was a competitive inhibitor of activity, having a K(i) of 60 mM with respect to sinigrin and of 27 mM with respect to ascorbate. Thus activation of myrosinase from R. sativus by ascorbic acid exemplifies an unusual and possibly unique example of linear 'uncompetitive activation' (i.e. a proportionate increase in V(max) and K(m)) of an enzyme. The enzyme also had beta-glucosidase activity and hydrolysed p-nitrophenyl-beta-d-glucopyranoside.

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