Stopped-flow experiments in spectrophotometric and fluorescence modes reveal different aspects of the aldehyde dehydrogenase mechanism. Spectrophotometric experiments show a rapid burst of NADH production whose course is not affected by Mg2+. The slower burst seen in the fluorescence mode is markedly accelerated by Mg2+. It is argued that the fluorescence burst accompanies acyl-enzyme hydrolysis and, therefore, that Mg2+ increases the rate of this process. Experiments on the hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl propionate indicate that acyl-enzyme hydrolysis is indeed accelerated by Mg2+ and a combination of Mg2+ and NADH. Vmax. values for p-nitrophenyl propionate hydrolysis in the presence of NADH and NADH and Mg2+ agree closely with the specific rates of acyl hydrolysis from the E . NADH . acyl and E . NADH . acyl . Mg2+ complexes seen in the dehydrogenase reaction with propionaldehyde. These observations support the view that esterase and dehydrogenase activities occur at the same site on the enzyme. Other evidence is presented to support this conclusion.

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