1. The kinetic properties of the 5′-nucleotidase (EC present in the cytosol of rat liver were investigated in relation to the conversion of adenine nucleotides into uric acid, with particular reference to the stimulation of this process by fructose. The enzyme was assayed by the release of Pi and by a new and more sensitive radiochemical procedure. 2. When IMP was used as substrate, the partially purified enzyme displayed almost hyperbolic kinetics (h = 1.1) with S0.5 = 1.2 mM. Similar kinetics were observed with GMP and other nucleoside 5′-monophosphates, except AMP. 3. Vmax. of the enzyme for AMP was about the same as for IMP, but the kinetics were sigmoidal (h = 1.6) with S 0.5 = 10 mM. 4. The hydrolysis of IMP was inhibited competitively by GMP. IMP, at concentrations up to 0.5 mM, had a paradoxical stimulatory action on the hydrolysis of 2-5 mM-AMP and was inhibitory at higher concentrations. 5. The activity of the enzyme towards AMP and IMP was stimulated by ATP and GTP, and inhibited by Pi. Activators and inhibitor approximately cancelled each others' effects. At pH 7.4, the enzymic activity with 0.2 mM-AMP was undetectable under physiological conditions. 6. It is concluded that, in the liver cell, AMP is not hydrolysed by the soluble 5′-nucleotidase, but that its degradation requires prior deamination to IMP.

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