Analytical biochemistry

Visible wavelength spectrophotometric assays of L-aspartate and D-aspartate using hyperthermophilic enzyme systems.

PMID 20951671


Methods with which to simply and rapidly assay L-aspartate (L-Asp) and D-aspartate (D-Asp) would be highly useful for physiological research and for nutritional and clinical analyses. Levels of L- and D-Asp in food and cell extracts are currently determined using high-performance liquid chromatography. However, this method is time-consuming and expensive. Here we describe a simple and specific method for using an L-aspartate dehydrogenase (L-AspDH) system to colorimetrically assay L-Asp and a system of three hyperthermophilic enzymes--aspartate racemase (AspR), L-AspDH, and L-aspartate oxidase (L-AO)--to assay D-Asp. In the former, the reaction rate of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+))-dependent L-AspDH was measured based on increases in the absorbance at 438 nm, reflecting formation of formazan from water-soluble tetrazolium-1 (WST-1), using 1-methoxy-5-methylphenazinum methyl sulfate (mPMS) as a redox mediator. In the latter, D-Asp was measured after first removing L-Asp in the sample solution with L-AO. The remaining D-Asp was then changed to L-Asp using racemase, and the newly formed L-Asp was assayed calorimetrically using NAD(+)-dependent aspartate dehydrogenase as described above. This method enables simple and rapid spectrophotometric determination of 1 to 100 μM L- and D-Asp in the assay systems. In addition, methods were applicable to the L- and D-Asp determinations in some living cells and foods.

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1-Methoxy-5-methylphenazinium methyl sulfate, ≥95%