The XL-I form of xenobiotic/medium-chain fatty acid:CoA ligase was purified to apparent homogeneity from bovine liver mitochondria and used to determine the reaction mechanism. A tersubstrate kinetic analysis was conducted by varying the concentrations of ATP, benzoate and CoA in turn. Both ATP and benzoate gave parallel double-reciprocal plots against CoA, which indicates a Ping Pong mechanism, with either pyrophosphate or AMP leaving before the binding of CoA. Addition of pyrophosphate to the assays changed the plots from parallel to intersecting; addition of AMP did not. This indicates that pyrophosphate is the product that leaves before binding of CoA. Based on end-product inhibition studies, it was concluded that the reaction follows a Bi Uni Uni Bi Ping Pong mechanism, with ATP binding first, followed in order by benzoate binding, pyrophosphate release, CoA binding, benzoyl-CoA release and AMP release. A similar mechanism was obtained when the ligase was examined with butyrate as substrate. However, butyrate activation was characterized by a much higher affinity for CoA. This is attributed to steric factors resulting from the bulkier nature of the benzoate molecule. Also, with butyrate there is a bivalent cation activation distinct from that associated with binding to ATP. This activation by excess Mg2+ results in non-linear plots of 1/v against 1/[ATP] for butyrate unless the concentrations of Mg2+ and ATP are varied together.

Abbreviation used: XM-ligase, xenobiotic/medium-chain fatty acid:CoA ligase.

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