The time-dependent loss of enzymic activity and tetrameric structure of chicken liver pyruvate carboxylase (EC 6.4. 1.1) after dilution below 2 units/ml was apparently monophasic and first-order. When examined over a range of initial enzyme concentrations, both activity and tetrameric structure decayed to equilibrium levels which were dependent on the initial concentration. The observed rate constants for the loss of enzymic activity (i) showed no apparent dependence on the initial enzyme concentration, and (ii) were of similar magnitude to the corresponding rate constants of dissociation. Computer simulations of the most likely kinetic model suggest that the predominant form of the dissociated enzyme is the monomer. Dilution of pyruvate carboxylase in the presence of the allosteric activator acetyl-CoA largely prevented the subsequent dissociation of the tetrameric molecule. In addition, acetyl-CoA was able to cause a degree of activation and reassociation when added after dilution inactivation had been allowed to occur. Electron-microscopic observation showed the treatment with avidin before dilution markedly decreased the degree of dissociation of the enzyme tetramer. This structure-stabilizing effect of avidin was dependent on preincubation of the concentrated enzyme solution with acetyl-CoA. We propose that, over a range of protein concentrations, the tetrameric enzyme exists in two forms that are in equilibrium, and that acetyl-CoA alters the equilibrium to favour the more compact form.
|Publication status||Published - 1993|