Biochemical properties of alcohol dehydrogenase from Drosophila lebanonensis

Biochem J. 1986 Apr 15;235(2):481-90. doi: 10.1042/bj2350481.


Purified Drosophila lebanonensis alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) revealed one enzymically active zone in starch gel electrophoresis at pH 8.5. This zone was located on the cathode side of the origin. Incubation of D. lebanonensis Adh with NAD+ and acetone altered the electrophoretic pattern to more anodal migrating zones. D. lebanonensis Adh has an Mr of 56,000, a subunit of Mr of 28 000 and is a dimer with two active sites per enzyme molecule. This agrees with a polypeptide chain of 247 residues. Metal analysis by plasma emission spectroscopy indicated that this insect alcohol dehydrogenase is not a metalloenzyme. In studies of the substrate specificity and stereospecificity, D. lebanonensis Adh was more active with secondary than with primary alcohols. Both alkyl groups in the secondary alcohols interacted hydrophobically with the alcohol binding region of the active site. The catalytic centre activity for propan-2-ol was 7.4 s-1 and the maximum velocity of most secondary alcohols was approximately the same and indicative of rate-limiting enzyme-coenzyme dissociation. For primary alcohols the maximum velocity varied and was much lower than for secondary alcohols. The catalytic centre activity for ethanol was 2.4 s-1. With [2H6]ethanol a primary kinetic 2H isotope effect of 2.8 indicated that the interconversion of the ternary complexes was rate-limiting. Pyrazole was an ethanol-competitive inhibitor of the enzyme. The difference spectra of the enzyme-NAD+-pyrazole complex gave an absorption peak at 305 nm with epsilon 305 14.5 X 10(3) M-1 X cm-1. Concentrations and amounts of active enzyme can thus be determined. A kinetic rate assay to determine the concentration of enzyme active sites is also presented. This has been developed from active site concentrations established by titration at 305 nm of the enzyme and pyrazole with NAD+. In contrast with the amino acid composition, which indicated that D. lebanonensis Adh and the D. melanogaster alleloenzymes were not closely related, the enzymological studies showed that their active sites were similar although differing markedly from those of zinc alcohol dehydrogenases.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Drosophila / enzymology*
  • Electrophoresis, Starch Gel
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Weight
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Amino Acids
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase