1. The effect of independent variation of both acetyl-CoA and acetoacetyl-CoA on the initial velocity at pH8.0 and pH8.9 gives results compatible with a sequential mechanism involving a modified enzyme tentatively identified as an acetyl-enzyme, resulting from the reaction with acetyl-CoA in the first step of a Ping Pong (Cleland, 1963a) reaction. 2. Acetoacetyl-CoA gives marked substrate inhibition that is competitive with acetyl-CoA. This suggests formation of a dead-end complex with the unacetylated enzyme and is in accord with the inhibition pattern given by 3-oxohexanoyl-CoA, an inactive analogue of acetoacetyl-CoA. 3. The inhibition pattern given by products of the reaction is compatible with the above mechanism. CoA gives mixed inhibition with respect to both substrates, whereas dl-3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA competes with acetyl-CoA but gives uncompetitive inhibition with respect to acetoacetyl-CoA. 4. 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA analogues lacking the 3-hydroxyl group are found to compete, like 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA, with acetyl-CoA but have Ki values ninefold higher, indicating the importance of the 3-hydroxyl group in the interaction. 5. A comparison of inhibition by CoA and desulpho-CoA at pH8.0 and pH8.9 shows that at the higher pH value a kinetically significant reversal of the formation of acetyl-enzyme can occur. 6. Acetyl-CoA homologues do not act as substrates and compete only with acetyl-CoA. A study of the variation of Ki with acyl-chain length suggests the presence near the active centre of a hydrophobic region. 7. These results are discussed in terms of a kinetic mechanism in which there is only one CoA-binding site the specificity of which is altered by acetylation of the enzyme. 8. The rate of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthesis in yeast is calculated from the kinetic constants determined for purified 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase and from estimates of the physiological substrate concentrations. The rate of synthesis of 12nmol of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA/min per g wet wt. of yeast is still greater than the rate of utilization in spite of the extremely low (calculated) acetoacetyl-CoA concentration (1.8nm).

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