Chemico-biological interactions

The significance of low substrate concentration measurements for mechanistic interpretation in cholinesterases.

PMID 23279886


Cholinesterases do not follow the Michaelis-Menten kinetics. In the past, many reaction schemes were suggested to explain their complex interactions during the substrate turnover. Covalent catalysis was recognized very early and therefore, double intermediate traditional reaction scheme for the hydrolysis of good substrates at low concentrations was postulated. However, at intermediate and high substrate concentrations homotropic pseudocooperative effects take place in all cholinesterases, due to the nature of their buried active center. In this study, the significance and usefulness of experimental data obtained at low substrate concentrations, where only one substrate molecule accesses the active site at a time, are to be specified for the overall mechanistic evaluations. Indeed, different interpretations are expected when data are processed with equations derived from different reaction schemes. Consequently, the scheme with two substrate binding sites which comprises the structurally evidenced fully occupied active site as ultimate cause for substantially decreased cholinesterase activity at extremely high substrate concentrations is considered here. A special emphasis is put on butyrylcholinesterase, the enzyme with the largest active site among cholinesterases, where the pseudocooperative effects appear at much higher concentrations than in acetylcholinesterases.