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J Biol Chem. 1976 Oct 10;251(19):5881-7.

A stereochemical method for detection of ATP terminal phosphate transfer in enzymatic reactions. Glutamine synthetase.


An isotope scrambling method is described for the detection of transient [Enz:ADP:P-X] formation from [18O]ATP in ATP-coupled enzyme reactions. The method makes use of torsional symmetry of the newly formed (see article) group in ADP. [18 O]ATP labeled in the betagama bridge oxygen was incubated with enzyme and reversible cleavage of the PbetaO -- Pgamma bond was detected by the appearance of 18O in the beta nonbridge oxygens of the ATP pool. Experiments with sheep brain and Escherichia coli glutamine synthetases show that cleavage of ATP of enzyme-bound ADP and P-X requires glutamate. The exchange catalyzed by the E. coli enzyme with glutamate occurs in the absence of ammonia and is partially inhibited by added NH4Cl, as expected if the exchange is in the mechanistic pathway for glutamine synthesis. The results provide kinetic support for a two-step mechanism where phosphoryl transfer from ATP to glutamate precedes reaction with ammonia.

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