Isocitrate lyase was purified from Phycomyces blakesleeanus N.R.R.L. 1555(-). The native enzyme has an Mr of 240,000. The enzyme appeared to be a tetramer with apparently identical subunits of Mr 62,000. The enzyme requires Mg2+ for activity, and the data suggest that the Mg2(+)-isocitrate complex is the true substrate and that Mg2+ ions act as a non-essential activator. The kinetic mechanism of the enzyme was investigated by using product and dead-end inhibitors of the cleavage and condensation reactions. The data indicated an ordered Uni Bi mechanism and the kinetic constants of the model were calculated. The spectrophotometric titration of thiol groups in Phycomyces isocitrate lyase with 5.5′-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) gave two free thiol groups per subunit of enzyme in the native state and three in the denatured state. The isocitrate lyase was completely inactivated by iodoacetate, with non-linear kinetics. The inactivation data suggest that the enzyme has two classes of modifiable thiol groups. The results are also in accord with the formation of a non-covalent enzyme-inhibitor complex before irreversible modification of the enzyme. Both the equilibrium constants for formation of the complex and the first-order rate constants for the irreversible modification step were determined. The partial protective effect of isocitrate and Mg2+ against iodoacetate inactivation was investigated in a preliminary form.

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