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Anal Biochem. 1991 Aug 15;197(1):266-72.

Luminescent immobilized enzyme test systems for inorganic pyrophosphate: assays using firefly luciferase and nicotinamide-mononucleotide adenylyl transferase or adenosine-5'-triphosphate sulfurylase.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


Inorganic pyrophosphate was measured by luminescence produced by a pyrophosphatase (NAD adenylyl-transferase or ATP sulfurylase) coimmobilized with firefly luciferase on Sepharose beads, with continuous flow of saturating concentrations of substrates (NAD plus luciferin or adenylophosphosulfate plus luciferin, respectively) and intermittent injections of samples containing pyrophosphate. In this scheme, the limiting substrate (pyrophosphate) is regenerated, a situation that is well suited to a bioluminescent assay. The instrumentation allowed for automation with a through-put of approximately one sample every 4 min. With standard solutions or samples that do not contain ATP, the sensitivity of the assay permits detection of less than 1 pmol pyrophosphate in a volume of 20 microliters (50 nmol/liter) with a coefficient of variation approximately equal to 4%. To assay biological samples, it was shown that endogenous ATP can be inactivated by oxidation with sodium periodate. Periodate treatment and quenching engenders dilution that limits the sensitivity to approximately 600 nmol/liter pyrophosphate in the starting material. The assay has been applied to the determination of intracellular pyrophosphate in human lymphocytes and to the measurement of nucleoside-triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase in human fibroblasts. The variability of the assay was greater with biological samples than with standard samples, with a coefficient of variation of 15.3% in a series of determinations of intracellular pyrophosphate in a series of replicate lymphocyte lysates. Bioluminescent systems of coupled coimmobilized enzymes offer great promise for sensitive, safe, automated assaying of metabolites.

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