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J Biol Chem. 1976 Jul 25;251(14):4398-407.

The carbamate reaction of glycylglycine, plasma, and tissue extracts evaluated by a pH stopped flow apparatus.


We have used a stopped flow rapid reaction pH apparatus to investigate the carbamate equilibrium in glycylglycine solutions and in three biological tissues, human plasma, sheep muscle, and sheep brain, as well as to investigate the kinetics of carbamate formation in glyclyglycine solution and in human plasma. The rapid reaction apparatus was equipped with a pH sensitive glass electrode in order to follow the time course of pH from 0.005 to 100 s after rapid mixing of a solution of amine or protein and CO2. Two phases of the pH curve were observed: a fast phase representing carbamate formation, and a slow phase due to the hydration of CO2 which was uncatalyzed since a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor was added to the biological solutions. From the time course of pH change during the fast phase K2, the R-NH2 ionization constant, and Kc, the carbamate equilibrium constant as well as the velocity constant for the formation of carbamate, ka could be calculated from data at different pH and pCO2. The carbamate formed in glycylglycine solutions over a wide range of pH and pCO2 was found consistent with the theory of carbamate formation and with published data. At ionic strength 0.16 and 37 degrees pK is 7.67. pKc 4.58. The heat of the carbamate reaction (deltaH) was calculated to be -3.2 kcal/mol between 20 degrees and 37 degrees. Kt of glycylglycine depends quantitatively on ionic strength as predicted by the Debye-Huckel theory. With ionic strength 0.16 ku was found to be 2,500 M1 S1 at 37 degrees. The activation energy of carbamate formation is 6.7 kcal/mol. Carbamate measurements in human plasma at pCO2 from 38 to 359 Torr. pH from 6.9 to 8.3, temperature 37 degrees, and ionic strength 0.15 provided evidence that two kinds of amino groups participate in carbamate formation. From the equilibrium constants computed for the two species they could be identified as alpha- and epsilon-amino groups. On the basis of a protein molecular weight of 69.000. 0.6 alpha-amino groups/molecule with pKz=7.0 and pKc=4.2, and 5.9 epsilon-amino groups/molecule with pKz=9.0 and pKc=4.3 contribute to carbamate formation. The velocity constant ka was estimated to be 4,950 M1 S1 for the alpha-amino groups and 13,800 M1 S1 for the epsilon-amino groups. Under physiological conditions (pCO2=40 Torr. pH=7.4). The concentration of carbamate in plasma is 0.6 mM and the half-time of carbamate formation is 0.05 s. In extracts prepared from sheep brain at 37 degrees pH=7 and pCO2=35 Torr. the carbamate formation was estimated to be 0.8 mM. With pCO2=70 Torr and the same pH and temperature the carbamate concentration in muscle approximates 0.3 mM and increases to 7 mM as pH rises to 8. It is concluded that, as in plasma, a considerable number of epsilon-amino groups appear to be available for carbamate formation in these tissues.

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