Further evidence for time-dependent interconversions between active and inactive states of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase is presented. It was found that ribulose bisphosphate oxygenase and ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase could be totally inactivated by excluding CO2 and Mg2+ during dialysis of the enzyme at 4 degrees C. When initially inactive enzyme was assayed, the rate of reaction continually increased with time, and the rate was inversely related to the ribulose bisphosphare concentration. The initial rate of fully activated enzyme showed normal Michaelis-Menten kinetics with respect to ribulose bisphosphate (Km = 10muM). Activation was shown to depend on both CO2 and Mg2+ concentrations, with equilibrium constants for activation of about 100muM and 1 mM respectively. In contrast with activation, catalysis appeared to be independent of Mg2+ concentration, but dependent on CO2 concentration, with a Km(CO2) of about 10muM. By studying activation and de-activation of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase as a function of CO2 and Mg2+ concentrations, the values of the kinetic constants for these actions have been determined. We propose a model for activation and catalysis of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase: (see book) where E represents free inactive enzyme; complex in parentheses, activated enzyme; R, ribulose bisphosphate; M, Mg2+; C, CO2; P, the product. We propose that ribulose bisphosphate can bind to both the active and inactive forms of the enzyme, and slow inter-conversion between the two states occurs.

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