The equilibrium binding of cyclic AMP to a 150-fold purified preparation of protein kinase, when expressed as the reciprocal of bound against the reciprocal of free cyclic AMP, gave a plot consisting of two straight lines. The values of apparent Kb given by these lines were lowered by preincubating the intact tissue with noradrenaline or incubating the enzyme preparation with Mg2+ plus ATP. This effect was reversed by incubating the preparation (which contained some phosphatase impurities) with Mg2+ alone. None of these procedures affected the maximal binding of cyclic AMP. During incubation of the enzyme with Mg2+ plus ATP, the terminal phosphoryl group was incorporated into protein, over 40% being present in the kinase itself. This phosphate was removed during incubation of the preparation with Mg2+ alone. The validity of expressing cyclic AMP binding as a double-reciprocal plot is discussed, and the experimental plots are compared with those derived theoretically. The results suggest that protein kinase in brown fat is present in two forms, one with an apparent Kb for cyclic AMP or approx. 250 nM (dephosphorylation) and one with an apparent Kb of approx. 14 nM (phosphorylated). Preincubation of the tissue with noradrenaline results in phosphorylation of the kinase and an increase from 15 to 45% in the proportion of the higher-affinity form.

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