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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1987 Dec;259(2):316-30.

Kinetic mechanism of native Escherichia coli aspartate transcarbamylase.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802.


Equilibrium isotope exchange kinetics have been used to reinvestigate the kinetic mechanism of Escherichia coli aspartate transcarbamylase (aspartate carbamoyl-transferase) at pH 7.0, 30 degrees C. Keq = 5.9 (+/- 0.6) X 10(3), allowing variation of substrate concentrations above and below their Km values in all experiments, a condition not possible at pH 7.8 [F. C. Wedler and F. J. Gasser (1974) Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 163, 57-68]. The rate of the [14C]Asp in equilibrium N-carbamoyl L-aspartate (C-Asp) exchange reaction was five times faster than that of [32P]carbamyl phosphate (C-P) in equilibrium Pi, which argues strongly against the rapid equilibrium random mechanism previously proposed by E. Heyde, A. Nagabhushanam, and J. F. Morrison [Biochemistry 12, 4718-4726 (1973]. Substrate concentrations were varied either as reactant-product pairs (holding the other pair constant) or together simultaneously in constant ratio at equilibrium. The resulting kinetic saturation patterns were most consistent with a preferred order random kinetic mechanism, with C-P binding prior to Asp and with C-Asp being released before Pi. Weak inhibition effects at high substrate levels could be accounted for by multiple weak dead-end complexes or ionic strength effects. Computer-based simulations have led to a set of rate constants that fit the experimental data, are in agreement with rate constants measured previously by pre-steady-state methods, and predict the correct initial velocities in the forward and reverse directions. Simulations also show that rate constants consistent with any of the various alternative mechanisms do not provide good fit to the experimental data. A model for the kinetic mechanism is considered, in which the binding of Asp prior to C-P may restrict access of C-P to the active site, but C-P binding prior to Asp potentiates the enzyme for the allosteric (T-R) transition, centered entirely upon the Asp binding process.

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