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Biochemical and biophysical research communications

A simple kinetic test to distinguish exo-glucosidase and beta-glucosidase activities.


PMID 3936498

Abstract

Unusual kinetic behaviour was observed in assaying spectrophotometrically for exo-glucanase activity in a beta-glucosidase isolated from A. faecalis using p-nitrophenyl beta-cellobioside as substrate. At high substrate concentrations no phenol was released whereas at low concentrations a rapid release of phenol was detected and this increased in rate with extent of hydrolysis. These results are consistent with a model involving tight binding of the substrate to the enzyme and an initial exo-glucosidase-catalysed hydrolysis to produce glucose and p-nitrophenyl glucoside. Subsequent hydrolysis of the nitrophenyl glucoside results in phenol release, but only after sufficient concentrations have accumulated to compete with the cellobioside. This theory was confirmed by product analysis and by measuring the affinity of the substrate for the enzyme by its inhibition of p-nitrophenyl glucoside hydrolysis. Observation of such kinetic behaviour allows distinction between beta-glucosidase and exo-glucosidase activities.

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N5759
4-Nitrophenyl β-D-cellobioside, ≥98% (TLC)
C18H25NO13