- Volume 39 Issue 1
An endogenous phenoloxidase (EPO) from earthworm, Lumbricus rubellus, has been purified and characterized. The purified EPO using ammonium sulfate fractionation, Blue-2, Phenyl-, and Q-sepharose chromatography steps was revealed in SDS-PAGE as a single protein banri with Mr. of 59 kl)a. A native strudure of the enzyme was examined with an in situ staining of a nondenatudng-PAGE using DL-dopa as a substrate. The result showed that a single band due to the EPO activity was located siighdy above a standard polypeptide with Mr. of 210 kl)a. These fads indicate that the EPO is an oligomeric enzyme. The presence of a monophenolase activity of the purified EPO, which hydroxylates tyrosine to dopa, was confirmed by observing dopachrome accumulation at 475 nm at PH 8.0 with a typical lag phase during 60 mm. of meausrement. A series of inhibition study has been performed for the enzyme with several divalent cation chelators such as phenyithiourea (Flu), 1, lO-phenanthroline, EDTA, and EGTA. Among them, only V'flj inhibited the enzyme with 1C0.5 of 65 MM, which indicated that copper was critical for the catalysis of EPO. The enzyme was maximally active at 35'C and pH 8.0 when L-dopa to dopachrome conversion was spectrophotometricaily monitored at 475 nm. The apparent Km values of P0 for L-opa were obtained as 1.86 mM and 13.8 mM at pH 6.5 and 8.0, respectively. The catalytic efficiencies at both pH were almost identical [(kat/Km)pH8.0/(kcat/Km)pH6.5 = O.92] while the Vmax at p11 8.0 was 6.6-fold higher than that at pH 6.5. This fact may indicate that pH affeds the catalysis at substrate and/or enzyme-substrate complex level rather than the enzyme itself. Taken together, the EPO was an oligomeric enzyme which did not require proteolysis for its activation. These results also indicated that the enzyme can exist, at least, in part as a latent form In vivo, which might be distinct from the prophenoloxidase activating system. Therefore, it is pertinent to consider that there must be certain regulatory molecules or phenomena in L. rubellus which make the 1,0 in a latent form in vivo before the foreign invasions.