The catalytic properties of cuckoo-pint (Arum maculatum) mitochondrial adenosine triphosphatase have been analysed. The pH profile, effect of inhibitors, cold-stability and substrate specificity are characteristic of mitochondrial adenosine triphosphatases, although a high guanosine triphosphatase activity does appear to be restricted to plant mitochondrial adenosine triphosphatases. The kinetic properties of nucleoside 5′-triphosphate hydrolysis by membrane-bound and soluble enzymes have been studied by means of double-reciprocal plots. These plots were linear in the absence of an activating anion, which may indicate that the catalytic and/or regulatory mechanism of Arum maculatum adenosine triphosphatase is different from that of other enzyme preparations. It is suggested that the differences in subunit composition of plant and mammalian adenosine triphosphatases reported previously [Dunn, Slabas & Moore (1985) Biochem. J. 225, 821-824] are structurally, rather than functionally, significant.

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