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TEMPERATURE ACTIVATION OF THE UREASE-UREA SYSTEM USING CRUDE AND CRYSTALLINE UREASE

Authors
Journal
The Journal of General Physiology
0022-1295
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
Keywords
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Abstract

1. The hydrolysis of urea catalyzed by jack bean meal has been followed by determining colorimetrically after Nesslerization the ammonia nitrogen, and volumetrically the carbon dioxide liberated at successive intervals during the reaction. During the early part of hydrolysis the rate of ammonia or carbon dioxide liberation is constant for all the urease solutions which were used. 2. When log rate of NH3 or CO2 formation was plotted against 1/T, the points fell along a straight line, the slope of which corresponded to an activation energy of either 8,700 or 11,700 calories per gram mol. Frequently urease, when dissolved in sulfite solution, was characterized by an activation energy of 11,700 below and 8,700 above the critical temperature of about 23°C. At high temperatures the plotted points fell off from the curve due to temperature inactivation. 3. Essentially the same results on temperature activation were obtained with crude jack bean meal, Arlco urease, crystalline urease not recrystallized, and crystalline urease once recrystallized. The temperature characteristic which was obtained depended in part upon the composition of the medium. When dissolved in water, or aqueous solutions of glycerine, KCN, Na2S2O2, cystine, Na2SO4, and K4Fe(CN)6, the temperature characteristic or µ of urease is 8,700. On the other hand, when urease is dissolved in solutions of K3Fe(CN)6 or H2O2 the µ value is 11,700. When dissolved in a solution containing Na2SO3 and NaHSO3 the µ value may be either 8,700 or 11,700 over the whole temperature range, or 11,700 below and 8,700 above 23°C. 4. When crystalline urease is dissolved in varying mixtures of K4Fe(CN)6 and K3Fe(CN)6, the temperature characteristic depends upon the oxidation-reduction potential of the digest. When Eh is greater than +0.46 volt µ = 11,700, when less than +0.42 volt µ = 8,700, when between +0.42 – +0.46 µ = 11,700 below and 8,700 above the critical temperature. 5. It is suggested that in reducing or in indifferent solutions the configuration of the urease molecule (as determined especially by SH groups present) is such that the activation energy is 8,700 calories. In oxidizing solutions the urease molecule has been so altered (perhaps by the oxidation of the SH groups) as to be partly inactivated and now has an activation energy of 11,700. Such changes in the urease molecule are reversible (unless oxidation has proceeded too far) and are accompanied by a corresponding change in the activation energy.

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