We have demonstrated the co-purification in constant ratio of all five activities of the pentafunctional arom enzyme complex from Neurospora crassa. Progressive inactivation of the 3-dehydroquinate synthase component of the purified enzyme complex by chelating agents was blocked by the substrate, 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate, but not by the cofactor NAD+. Full activity was restored at Zn2+ concentrations as low as 0.05 nM. Atomic absorption data indicated that the intact enzyme complex contained 1 atom per subunit of tightly bound zinc. The arom 3-dehydroquinate synthase had a calculated turnover number of 19s-1, this being within the narrow range of values obtained for the other four activities of the intact multifunctional enzyme. The Km for 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate was 1.4 microM in a phosphate-free buffer; inorganic phosphate was a competitive inhibitor with respect to 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate.

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