1. Iduronosyl anhydro[1-3H]mannitol 6-sulphate (IMs), iduronosyl anhydro[1-3H]mannitol, phenyl iduronide (PhI) and 4-methylumbelliferyl iduronide have been compared as substrates for the diagnostic estimation of α-l-iduronidase activity present in human leucocyte and cultured skin fibroblast homogenates. The pH profile of leucocyte and fibroblast iduronidase activity was dependent on substrate structure and concentration, the ionic strength and the nature of the buffer ion used in the assay mixture.

2. NaCl, KBr and Na2SO4 were shown to be parabolic competitive inhibitors of IMs activity, the K1 with fibroblast homogenates being 34, 13.4 and 0.22 mmol/l respectively. NaCl and KBr were shown to have a primary salt effect on the interaction between enzyme and substrate but Na2SO4 appeared to have a specific ion effect at a cationic binding site.

3. NaCl inhibited the hydrolysis of IMs at all pH values studied, whereas NaCl concentrations of 0.2 mol/l inhibited the hydrolysis of PhI at pH values below 3.8 but activated the enzyme at higher incubation pH values.

4. Cu2+ was shown to be a potent non-competitive inhibitor of IMs enzyme activity with an apparent Kl, of approximately 0.02 mmol/l. The enzyme activity was inhibited by Fe2+ (Kl 4 mmol/l), Hg2+ and Ag+, but has not significantly been affected by other univalent or bivalent cations.

5. The presence of solvent and salt effects on apparent Km but not the Vmax. suggest that the binding of IMs to the enzyme involved charge neutralization, and it is inferred that two cationic binding sites are present at the active site. It is postulated that one site specifically binds to the iduronic acid carboxyl group, the other to the 6-sulphate of the anhydromannitol moiety.

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