Each subunit of the liver alcohol dehydrogenase dimer contains one catalytic and one structural Zn(II) atom. Enzyme with the catalytic metal atoms selectively removed is inactive but can be partly reactivated in the presence of Ag(I) ions. Reactivation results from Ag(1) ions entering the empty metal-binding site in the catalytic center. The specific activity of this silver enzyme reached 24% of the native enzyme. Atomic absorption analysis gave equal amounts of Ag(I) and Zn(II), corresponding to one mole of each metal per monomer. Metal-directed affinity labelling using bromo-imidazolyl propionate showed that the properties of the silver-reactivated enzyme were distinct from those of the native enzyme.

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