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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1994 Oct;314(1):142-52.

Investigation of the active site of the cyanogenic beta-D-glucosidase (linamarase) from Manihot esculenta Crantz (cassava). I. Evidence for an essential carboxylate and a reactive histidine residue in a single catalytic center.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Lajos Kossuth University, Debrecen, Hungary.


The broad-specificity cyanogenic beta-D-glucosidase (beta-D-glucoside glucohydrolase, EC (linamarase) from Manihot esculenta Crantz (cassava) was kinetically characterized in mixed substrate systems and with the transition-state analogue glucono(1-5)lactone and a series of 1-thio substrate analogues. The results indicate a common catalytic and a common sugar binding site in the enzyme for all of the investigated substrates. Kinetic parameters of the hydrolysis of linamarin and p-nitrophenyl beta-D-glucopyranoside were determined over the pH range 3.5-9.0. The pH-dependence curves gave apparent pK values of 4.5 (4.6) and 7.1 (7.3) for the free enzyme, while values of 4.5 (3.7) and 9.3 were obtained for the enzyme-substrate complexes, using either linamarin or p-nitrophenyl beta-D-glucopyranoside as the substrate. Kinetic analysis of the modification indicated that one molecule of water-soluble carbodiimide or Woodward's reagent K is required to bind to the enzyme for inactivation. The enzyme was protected against inactivation by the competitive inhibitors p-nitrothiophenyl beta-D-glucopyranoside, beta-D-glucopyranosylamine, and glucono(1-5)lactone. Spectrophotometric analysis at 340 nm showed that from the three carboxylate groups modified by Woodward's reagent K essentially one was protected by p-nitrothiophenyl beta-D-glucopyranoside. During modification Vmax decreased to 30% of that of the unmodified enzyme and Km remained unchanged. The pH dependence of inactivation showed the involvement of a group with a pK value of 4.6, indicating the modification of a carboxyl residue essential for activity. Treatment of the enzyme with the histidine-group-specific reagent diethylpyrocarbonate resulted in 80% loss of enzyme activity, in biphasic kinetics. A treatment with 0.5 M hydroxylamine at pH 7.0 regenerated 92% of the original enzyme activity. The presence of the competitive inhibitor beta-D-glucopyranosylamine protected the enzyme against inactivation, preventing the modification of one histidine residue. Statistical analysis of the residual fractional activity against the number of modified residues indicated that the modification of one histidine is responsible for 40-50% of the inactivation. The pH dependence of the inactivation gave a pK value of 7.0 for the histidine group upon which the activity depends. During modification, Vmax decreased to 30% and Km decreased to 50% of the original values.

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