Author(s): Kotzia GA, Labrou NE
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Abstract Bacterial L-asparaginases (E.C. 184.108.40.206) have been used as therapeutic agents in the treatment of acute childhood lymphoblastic leukaemia. L-asparaginase from Erwinia carotovora NCYC 1526 (ErA) was cloned and expressed in E. coli. The enzyme was purified to homogeneity by a two-step procedure comprising cation-exchange chromatography and affinity chromatography on immobilised L-asparagine. The enzymatic properties of the recombinant enzyme were investigated and the kinetic parameters (K(m), k(cat)) for a number of substrates were determined. Molecular modelling studies were also employed to create a model of ErA, based on the known structure of the Erwinia chrysanthemi enzyme. The molecular model was used to help interpret biochemical data concerning substrate specificity and catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. The kinetic parameters of selected substrates were determined at various pH values, and the pH-dependence profiles of V(max) and V(max)/K(m) were analyzed. The pH-dependence of V(max) shows one transition in the acidic pH range with pK(a)=5.4, and the pH-dependence of V(max)/K(m) exhibits two transitions with pK(a)=5.4 and 8.5. Based on analysis of alternative substrates and molecular modelling studies, it was concluded that the pK(a) at the acidic pH range corresponds to the active site residues Asp115 or Glu82, whereas the pK(a) observed at the alkaline pH range is not due to substrate amino group ionisation, but rather is the result of enzyme ionisation. The effect of temperature and viscosity on the catalytic activity of the enzyme was also investigated and it was concluded that the rate-limiting step of the catalytic reaction is relevant to structural transitions of the protein. Thermodynamic analysis of the activity data showed that the activation energies are dependent on the substrate, and entropy changes appear to be the main determinant contributing to substrate specificity.
This article was published in J Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology