The presteady-state kinetic parameters of the interaction of wild-type glucoamylase from Aspergillus niger (EC with maltose were obtained and analysed in the pH range 3-7 with intervals of 0.25 pH units. In all cases the following three-step reaction scheme was found to apply.


The general result of the analysis of the presteady-state kinetics is that glucoamylase G1 is affected by the protonation states of three groups, with pKa values of 2.7, 4.5 and 5.7 in the free enzyme and of 2.7, 4.75 and 6.5 in the first enzyme-substrate complex. The protonation of the group in the enzyme-substrate complex with a pKa 6.5 had no effect on k2 (1640 s-1) or k-2 (20±4 s-1), but resulted in a stronger enzyme-substrate interaction, due to a decrease of K1 from 40 to 6.3 mM. In other words, when the substrate is bound, the pKa of the acid group changes to increase the fraction of reactive enzyme. Since this pKa parallels that of the Michaelis complex, known from the pH-dependence of kcat, the group in question is most probably the catalytic acid Glu-179. Protonation of Glu-179 thus is of no importance in the second step, clearly indicating that this step represents a conformational change and not the actual hydrolysis step of the reaction. Protonation of the pKa = 4.75 group leads to a small decrease in k2 to 1090 s-1, and also to minor changes in K1. The group with pKa = 2.7 leads to a major decrease of k2, of which the limit may be zero, but shows no effect on K1. Thus no difference is seen between the pKa values of the free enzyme and of the first enzyme-substrate complex at low pH.

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