Arginase is a binuclear Mn(2+)-metalloenzyme of urea cycle that catalyzes the conversion of L-arginine to L-ornithine and urea. Unlike other arginases, the Helicobacter pylori enzyme is selective for Co(2+), and has lower catalytic activity. To understand the differences in the biochemical properties as well as activity compared to other arginases, we carried out a detailed investigation of different metal reconstituted H. pylori arginases that includes steady-state kinetics, fluorescence measurement, pH-dependent and oligomerization assays. Unlike other arginases (except human at physiological pH), the Co(2+)- and Mn(2+)-reconstituted H. pylori enzymes exhibit cooperative mechanism of arginine hydrolysis, and undergo self-association and activation with increasing concentrations. Analytical gel-filtration assays in conjunction with the kinetic data showed that the protein exists as a mixture of monomer and dimer with monomer being the major form (other arginases exclusively exist as a trimer or hexamer) but the dimer is associated with higher catalytic activity. The proportion of dimer is found to decrease with increasing salt concentrations indicating that salt bridges play important roles in dimerization of the protein. Furthermore, the fluorescence measurement showed that Co(2+) ions play an important role in the local tertiary structure of the protein than Mn(2+). This is consistent with the pH-dependent studies where the Co(2+)-enzyme showed a single ionization compared to the double in the Mn(2+)-enzyme. Thus, this study presents the detailed biochemical and spectroscopic investigations into the differences in the biochemical properties and activity between H. pylori and other arginases.
© 2010 IUBMB.