Delta-Crystallin, the most abundant crystallin in the avian species, was isolated and purified from duck lenses. It was shown to possess endogenous argininosuccinate lyase activity catalysing the reversible cleavage of argininosuccinate to give fumarate and arginine with an equilibrium constant of 1.8 +/- 0.23 mM. In contrast, chicken lens delta-crystallin showed only 0.4-0.8% of the enzyme activity of duck delta-crystallin under identical assay conditions. Biochemical comparison of delta-crystallins from these two species revealed distinct differences in their structural and kinetic properties. An activity-staining method was developed for the easy detection of endogenous enzyme activity of delta-crystallin from crude lens extracts of different avian species. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of lens homogenates indicated that, in the chicken lens, delta-crystallin is composed mainly of a subunit with a pI of 5.9 and a subunit mass of 50 kDa, whereas that of duck lens possesses various 50 kDa subunits in a pI range of 5.9-6.8. Activity staining corroborated the fact that all charge isoenzymes of duck delta-crystallin possess enzyme activity whereas that of chicken delta-crystallin is devoid of activity. For duck delta-crystallin, variation of the enzyme activity with argininosuccinate concentration in the forward reaction followed saturation kinetics with an apparent Michaelis constant for the substrate of 17 +/- 5 microM. In the reverse reaction, initial-velocity studies showed intersecting patterns. Inhibitions of the forward reaction by products (fumarate and arginine) were both non-competitive with respect to argininosuccinate. Citrulline, an analogue of arginine, inhibited the enzyme activity in both directions and was competitive with respect to arginine but non-competitive with respect to fumarate or argininosuccinate. Succinate, which inhibited the bovine argininosuccinate lyase, did not affect the delta-crystallin enzyme activity in a concentration range between 1 and 300 mM. These results suggest a random Uni Bi kinetic mechanism for the argininosuccinate lyase activity of duck delta-crystallin with the formation of various abortive delta-crystallin-argininosuccinate-arginine, delta-crystallin-argininosuccinate-fumarate and delta-crystallin-argininosuccinate-citrulline ternary complexes.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.