DAP epimerase is the penultimate enzyme in the lysine biosynthesis pathway. The most versatile assay for DAP epimerase catalytic activity employs a coupled DAP epimerase-DAP dehydrogenase enzyme system with a commercial mixture of DAP isomers as substrate. DAP dehydrogenase converts meso-DAP to THDP with concomitant reduction of NADP(+) to NADPH. We show that at high concentrations, accumulation of NADPH results in inhibition of DAPDH, resulting in spurious kinetic data. A new assay has been developed employing DAP decarboxylase that allows the reliable characterisation of DAP epimerase enzyme kinetics.
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