Human sulphamate sulphohydrolase was purified at least 20,000-fold to homogeneity from liver with a three-step four-column procedure, which consisted of a concanavalin A-Sepharose/Blue A agarose coupled step, and Bio-Gel HT step and then a CM-Sepharose step. The procedure was also used to purify enzyme from kidney and placenta. The subunit Mr of liver, kidney and placenta sulphamate sulphohydrolase was assessed to be 56,000 by using SDS/polacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. The native protein Mr of enzyme from all three tissue sources was assessed by gel-permeation chromatography to be approx. 120,000 on Sephacryl S-300 and 100,000 on Fractogel TSK. It is probable that the native enzyme results from dimerization of subunits. Kinetic parameters (km and kcat.) of human liver sulphamate sulphohydrolase were determined with a variety of substrates matching structural aspects of the physiological substrates in vivo, namely heparin and heparan sulphate. More structurally complex substrates, in which several aspects of the aglycone structure of the natural substrate were maintained, are turned over up to 372000 times faster than the monosaccharide substrate 2-sulphaminoglucosamine. Aglycone structures that influence substrate binding and/or enzyme activity were penultimate-residue C-6 carboxy and C-2 sulphate ester groups and a post-penultimate 2-sulphaminoglucosamine residue. The C-4 hydroxy group of the 2-sulphaminoglucosamine under enzymic attack is involved in binding of substrate to enzyme. The presence of C-6 sulphate ester on the non-reducing end 2-sulphaminoglucosamine stimulates sulphamate bond hydrolysis and substrate affinity if the adjacent monosaccharide residue is idose or 2-sulphoidose, but strongly inhibits hydrolysis if the adjacent monosaccharide residue is iduronic acid. Sulphamate sulphohydrolase is an exoenzyme, since activity toward internal sulphamate bonds was not detected. The effect of incubation pH on enzyme activity towards the variety of substrates evaluated was complex and dependent on substrate aglycone structure. The presence of aglycone C-2 sulphate ester and aglycone C-6 carboxy groups and C-6 sulphate ester groups on the 2-sulphaminoglucosamine residue under attack considerably affect the pH response. Structurally complex substrates had two pH optima. Incubation temperature and buffer ionic strength markedly influenced pH optima and enzyme activity. Cu2+ and SO4(2-)ions are potent inhibitors of enzyme activity.

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