The condensation of two propionyl-CoA units or a propionyl-CoA with acetyl-CoA is required for the synthesis of 2-methylvalerate or 2-methylbutyrate, respectively, two of the major fermentation products of Ascaris anaerobic muscle metabolism. An enzyme that preferentially catalyzes the condensation of propionyl-CoA rather than acetyl-CoA has been purified from the mitochondria of the parasitic intestinal nematode Ascaris lumbricoides var. suum. The purified enzyme is over 10 times more active with propionyl-CoA than with acetyl-CoA as substrate. It also catalyzes the coenzyme A-dependent hydrolysis of acetoacetyl-CoA at a rate four times higher than the propionyl-CoA condensation reaction. The purified Ascaris condensing enzyme preferentially forms the 2-methyl-branched-chain keto acids rather than the corresponding straight chain compounds. The native molecular weight of the purified enzyme was estimated to be 160,000 by gel filtration chromatography and 158,000 by high pressure liquid chromatography. The enzyme migrated as a single protein band with Mr 40,000 during sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide electrophoresis, indicating that the enzyme is composed of four subunits of the same molecular weight. Chromatography on CM-sephadex resulted in the isolation of two separate peaks of activity, designated as A and B. Both A and B had the same molecular weight and subunit composition. However, they differed in their specific activities and isoelectric points. The pIs of condensing enzymes A and B were 7.6 and 8.4, respectively. Propionyl-CoA was the best substrate for the condensation reaction with both enzymes. However, the specific activity of enzyme B for both propionyl-CoA condensation (3.4 μmol/min/mg protein) and acetoacetyl-CoA thiolysis (13.8 μmol/min/ mg protein) was 2.4 times higher than that obtained with enzyme A. Similarly, chromatography on phosphocellulose resolved the Ascaris condensing enzyme activity into one minor and two major peaks. All of these components had the same molecular weight and subunit composition, but differed in their specific activities. The two major phosphocellulose peaks cross-reacted immunologically when examined by the Ouchterlony double immunodiffusion technique. In addition, antiserum against the phosphocellulose most active form cross-reacted with forms A and B isolated by chromatography of the enzyme on CM-Sephadex, indicating that all forms were immunochemically related.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology