Activation and inhibition of rubber transferases by metal cofactors and pyrophosphate substrates

Phytochemistry. 2003 Sep;64(1):123-34. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(03)00266-8.


Metal cofactors are necessary for the activity of alkylation by prenyl transfer in enzyme-catalyzed reactions. Rubber transferase (RuT, a cis-prenyl transferase) associated with purified rubber particles from Hevea brasiliensis, Parthenium argentatum and Ficus elastica can use magnesium and manganese interchangably to achieve maximum velocity. We define the concentration of activator required for maximum velocity as [A](max). The [A](max)(Mg2+) in F. elastica (100 mM) is 10 times the [A](max)(Mg2+) for either H. brasiliensis (10 mM) or P. argentatum (8 mM). The [A](max)(Mn2+) in F. elastica (11 mM), H. brasiliensis (3.8 mM) and P. argentatum (6.8 mM) and the [A](max)(Mg2+) in H. brasiliensis (10 mM) and P. argentatum (8 mM) are similar. The differences in [A](max)(Mg2+) correlate with the actual endogenous Mg(2+) concentrations in the latex of living plants. Extremely low Mn(2+) levels in vivo indicate that Mg(2+) is the RuT cofactor in living H. brasiliensis and F. elastica trees. Kinetic analyses demonstrate that FPP-Mg(2+) and FPP-Mn(2+) are active substrates for rubber molecule initiation, although free FPP and metal cations, Mg(2+) and Mn(2+), can interact independently at the active site with the following relative dissociation constants K(d)(FPP) <K(d)(FPP-Metal) <K(d)(E-Metal). Similarly, IPP-Mg(2+) and IPP-Mn(2+) are active substrates for rubber molecule polymerization. Although metal cations can interact independently at the active site with the relative dissociation constant K(d)(IPP-Metal) <K(d)(E-Metal), unlike FPP, IPP alone does not interact independently. All three RuTs have similar characteristics-indeterminate sized products, high K(m)(IPP), high metal [A](max), metal cofactor requirements, and are membrane-bound enzymes.

MeSH terms

  • Asteraceae / enzymology
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Diphosphates / chemistry
  • Diphosphates / metabolism*
  • Diphosphates / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Ficus / chemistry
  • Ficus / enzymology
  • Hevea / chemistry
  • Hevea / enzymology
  • Kinetics
  • Magnesium / chemistry
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Manganese / chemistry
  • Manganese / metabolism*
  • Manganese / pharmacology
  • Metals / analysis
  • Metals / pharmacology
  • Rubber / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Transferases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Transferases / metabolism*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Diphosphates
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Metals
  • Manganese
  • Rubber
  • Transferases
  • cis-prenyl transferase
  • Magnesium