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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

New insights on the specificity of penicillin acylase.

In contrast with the general thought that penicillin G acylases (PGAs) were only able to hydrolyse amides or esters of higly hydrophobic acids, we have demonstrated that the PGA from Kluyvera citrophila catalysed the hydrolysis of 4-nitrophenyl esters of acetic, propionic, butyric and valeric acids. Values of kcat. and kcat./Km were greatest for the first compound and less than values for benzylpenicillin by factors of 30 and 7, respectively. 4-Nitrophenyl acetate was hydrolysed faster than 2-nitrophenyl acetate but slower than phenyl acetate. The pH dependence of the reaction was similar to that of benzylpenicillin. Several experiments showed that hydrolysis of 4-nitrophenyl acetate was not catalysed by contaminating esterase activity. The implications for the structural basis of substrate binding are discussed. These substrates open, for the first time, a way to investigate the kinetic parameters of PGA at the presteady-state and provides a new perspective about the role of PGA in nature.[1]


  1. New insights on the specificity of penicillin acylase. Roa, A., Castillón, M.P., Goble, M.L., Virden, R., García, J.L. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1995) [Pubmed]
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