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Tryptophan Synthetase in Euglena gracilis Strain G

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  • Enzymology
  • Biology


The five enzyme activities in the synthesis of l-tryptophan have been obtained in extracts of Euglena gracilis. One of these, tryptophan synthetase, has been studied in detail. The general catalytic properties of tryptophan synthetase, including the range of reactions catalyzed and its substrate and cofactor affinities, are similar to those reported for other organisms. The Euglena enzyme has two properties never previously observed for tryptophan synthetase. First, the rate of catalysis of the conversion of indole-glycerol phosphate to l-tryptophan remained at its maximal value and was unaffected by the ionic environment up to 0.3 m KCl. In contrast, the conversion of indole to tryptophan showed a sharp maximum at 0.08 m KCl. Second, the enzyme is a component of a complex that includes every enzyme in the pathway committed to tryptophan biosynthesis with the exception of anthranilate synthetase, the regulatory enzyme.

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