1. Lactate oxidation catalysed by pig heart lactate dehydrogenase was studied in the presence of inhibitory concentrations of pyruvate. Experimental results show the presence of an intermediate which occurs immediately after the hydride transfer step, but before the dissociation of pyruvate and the H+ produced by the reaction. The rate constant for pyruvate dissociation and the dissociation constant for pyruvate from the ternary complex differ from those obtained in pyruvate reduction experiments. 2. In single-turnover pyruvate reduction by pig heart lactate dehydrogenase at pH8.0 pyruvate can bind to the enzyme before a H+ is taken up, and the subsequent uptake of a H+ is governed by a step that is also rate-limiting for single-turnover and steady-state NADH oxidation. 3. Observation of various intermediates in the single-turnover pyruvate reduction experiments has made it possible to determine separately the dissociation constant and Km value for pyruvate at pH8.0, and also the catalytic turnover rate and Km for pyruvate under first-order conditions at different pH values. 4. Further studies on single-turnover pyruvate reduction carried out in 2H2O, or in water at low temperature, show another step which, under these conditions, is slower than that controlling H+ uptake and rate-limiting for NADH oxidation. A scheme is presented which explains these results.

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