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

Methionine biosynthesis in higher plants. II. Purification and characterization of cystathionine beta-lyase from spinach chloroplasts.

Cystathionine beta-lyase, the second enzyme of the transsulfuration pathway leading to homocysteine synthesis was purified over 16,000-fold from spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) leaf chloroplasts (soluble fraction). Enzyme activity was followed along the purification scheme by either a colorimetric method for the determination of cysteine or by fluorescence detection of the bimane derivative of L-homocysteine after reverse-phase HPLC. Cystathionine beta-lyase has a molecular mass of 170,000 +/- 5000 Da and consists of four identical subunits of 44,000 Da. The enzyme exhibits an absorption spectrum in the visible range with a maximum at 418 nm due to pyridoxal 5'-phosphate. The chloroplastic enzyme catalyzes alpha,beta-cleavage of the thioether L-cystathionine and the dithioacetal L-djenkolate with apparent Km values of 0.15 and 0.34 mM, respectively, and apparent Vm values corresponding to a specific activity of 13 Units mg-1. However, no activity was detected toward the disulfide L-cysteine. With either L-cystathionine and L-djenkolate as substrate, maximal activity was obtained between pH 8.3 and pH 9. 0. Besides the chloroplastic enzyme form, anion exchange chromatography of a total spinach leaf extract allowed the detection of a second pool of cystathionine beta-lyase activity that is associated with the cytosolic compartment and eluted at a lower salt concentration than the chloroplastic isoform. Kinetics of inactivation of cystathionine beta-lyase by the L-alpha-(2-aminoethoxyvinyl) glycine (AVG), an analogue of L-cystathionine, are consistent with the existence of an intermediate reversible enzyme inhibitor complex (apparent inhibition constant Kappi of 110 microM) preceding the irreversible formation of a final inactivated state of the enzyme (kd = 4.8 x 10(-3) s-1). Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate free in solution binds AVG with an apparent dissociation constant Kapp in the order of 350 microM. The comparison between the Kapp (free pyridoxal 5'-phosphate) and Kappi (enzyme inactivation) values indicate that the prosthetic group of spinach chloroplast cystathionine beta-lyase is freely accessible to the inhibitor compound AVG.[1]


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