[2-18O]Ribulose 5-phosphate was prepared and shown to be converted enzymically by 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase from sheep liver into 6-phosphogluconate with complete retention of the heavy isotope. This finding unequivocally excludes the possibility of a Schiff-base mechanism for the enzyme. The involvement of metal ions has already been excluded, and other possible mechanisms are discussed. The enzyme was purified by an improved large-scale procedure, which is briefly described.

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