Glutamine phosphoribosylpyrophosphate amidotransferase from Escherichia coli. Purification and properties

J Biol Chem. 1979 May 10;254(9):3382-92.


Glutamine 5-phosphoribosylamine:pyrophosphate phosphoribosyltransferase (amidophosphoribosyl-transferase) has been purified to homogeneity from Escherichia coli. The molecular weight of the native enzyme was 194,000 by sedimentation equilibrium centrifugation and 224,000 by gel filtration. A subunit Mr = 57,000 was estimated by gel electrophoresis in sodium dodecyl sulfate. Cross-linking experiments gave species of Mr = 57,000, 117,000, and 177,000. A trimer or tetramer of identical subunits is indicated for the native enzyme. Highly active E. coli amidophosphoribosyl-transferase lacks significant nonheme iron. Enzyme activity was not enhanced by addition of iron salts and sulfide. Amidophosphoribosyltransferase exhibited both NH3- and glutamine-dependent activities. Glutaminase activity was detected in the absence of other substrates. Both glutamine- and NH3-dependent activities were subject to end product inhibition by purine 5'-ribonucleotides. AMP and GMP, in combination, gave synergistic inhibition. AMP and GMP exhibited positive cooperativity. In addition, GMP promoted cooperativity for saturation by 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate. Glutamine utilization was inhibited by NH3, suggesting that the amide of glutamine is transferred to the NH3 site prior to amination of 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate. The glutamine-dependent activity was selectively inactivated by the glutamine analogs L-2-amino-4-oxo-5-chloropentanoic acid and 6-diazo-5-oxo L-norleucine (DON) and by iodoacetamide. Incorporation of 1 eq of DON/subunit (Mr = 57,000) caused complete inactivation of the glutamine-dependent activity, thus providing evidence for one glutamine site per monomer and for the functional identity of the subunits. Following alkylation with iodoacetamide, carboxymethylcysteine was the only modified amino acid isolated from an acid hydrolysate. The glutamine-dependent activity was sensitive to oxidation. Inactivation by exposure to air was reversed by incubation with high concentrations of dithiothreitol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase / isolation & purification
  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Dithiothreitol / pharmacology
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*
  • Glutaminase / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pentosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Spectrophotometry


  • Amino Acids
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Pentosyltransferases
  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase
  • Glutaminase
  • Dithiothreitol