Freshly purified spinach chloroplast fructose bisphosphatase is powerfully inhibited by inorganic phosphate competitively with respect to its substrate fructose 1,6-bisphosphate. The concentrations of phosphate and substrate in the chloroplast stroma are such that the enzyme in this form could not operate at a significant rate in vivo. Incubation of the enzyme with dithiothreitol for 24 h decreases the Km for fructose 1,6-bisphosphate from 0.8 to 0.033 mM, decreases the Km for Mg2+ from 9 to 2 mM and substantially alleviates inhibition by inorganic phosphate. The physiological significance of thiol activation of the enzyme is discussed.

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