Decker D, Meng M, Gornicka A, Hofer A, Wilczynska M, Kleczkowski LA
Substrate kinetics and substrate effects on the quaternary structure of barley UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase

Phytochemistry 2012 79:39-45

UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase (UGPase) is an essential enzyme responsible for production of UDP-Glc, which is used in hundreds of glycosylation reactions involving addition of Glc to a variety of compounds. In this study, barley UGPase was characterized with respect to effects of its substrates on activity and quaternary structure of the protein. Its Km values with Glc-1-P and UTP were 0.33 and 0.25 mM, respectively. Besides using Glc-1-P as a substrate, the enzyme had also considerable activity with Gal-1-P; however, the Km for Gal-1-P was very high (>10 mM), rendering this reaction unlikely under physiological conditions. UGPase had a relatively broad pH optimum of 6.5–8.5, regardless of the direction of reaction. The enzyme equilibrium constant was 0.4, suggesting slight preference for the Glc-1-P synthesis direction of the reaction. The quaternary structure of the enzyme, studied by Gas-phase Electrophoretic Mobility Macromolecule Analysis (GEMMA), was affected by addition of either single or both substrates in either direction of the reaction, resulting in a shift from UGPase dimers toward monomers, the active form of the enzyme. The substrate-induced changes in quaternary structure of the enzyme may have a regulatory role to assure maximal activity. Kinetics and factors affecting the oligomerization status of UGPase are discussed.

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