An enzyme catalysing the O-methylation of isobutyraldoxime by S-adenosyl-L-methionine was isolated from Pseudomonas sp. N.C.I.B. 11652. The enzyme was purified 220-fold by DEAE-cellulose chromatography, (NH4)2SO4 fractionation, gel filtration on Sephadex G-100 and chromatography on calcium phosphate gel. Homogeneity of the enzyme preparation was confirmed by isoelectric focusing on polyacrylamide gel and sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. The enzyme showed a narrow pH optimum at 10.25, required thiol-protecting agents for activity and was rapidly denatured at temperatures above 35 degrees C. The Km values for isobutyraldoxime and S-adenosyl-L-methionine were respectively 0.24 mM and 0.15 mM. Studies on substrate specificity indicated that attack was mainly restricted to oximes of C4-C6 aldehydes, with preference being shown for those with branching in the 2- or 3-position. Ketoximes were not substrates for the enzyme. Gel filtration on Sephadex G-100 gave an Mr of 84 000 for the intact enzyme, and sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis indicated an Mr of 37 500, suggesting the presence of two subunits in the intact enzyme. S-Adenosylhomocysteine was a powerful competitive inhibitor of S-adenosylmethionine, with a Ki of 0.027 mM. The enzyme was also susceptible to inhibition by thiol-blocking reagents and heavy-metal ions. Mg2+ was not required for maximum activity.

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