1. The presence of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase in human prostate gland is reported. A satisfactory radiochemical enzymic assay was developed and the enzyme was partially characterized. 2. Putrescine stimulates the reaction rate by up to 6-fold at pH7.5: the apparent activation constant was estimated to be 0.13mm. The stimulation is pH-dependent and a maximal effect is observed at acid pH values. 3. Putrescine activation is rather specific: other polyamines, such as spermidine and spermine, did not show any appreciable effect. 4. The apparent Km for the substrate is 4×10−5m. The calculated S-adenosylmethionine content of human prostate (0.18μmol/g wet wt. of tissue) demonstrates that the cellular amounts of sulphonium compound are saturating with respect to the enzyme. 5. The enzyme is moderately stable at 0°C and is rapidly inactivated at 40°C. The optimum pH is about 7.5, with one-half of the maximal activity occurring at pH6.6. 6. Several carboxy-14C-labelled analogues and derivatives of S-adenosylmethionine were tested as substrates. The enzyme appears to be highly specific: the replacement of the 6′-amino group of the sulphonium compound alone results in a complete loss of activity. 7. Inhibition of the enzyme activity by several carbonyl reagents suggests an involvement of either pyridoxal phosphate or pyruvate in the catalytic process. 8. The inhibitory effect of thiol reagents indicates the presence of ‘essential’ thiol groups.

This content is only available as a PDF.