, Volume 179, Issue 2, pp 341-348

A second purine nucleoside phosphorylase in Escherichia coli K-12

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The presence of a second purine nucleoside phosphorylase in wild-type strains of E. coli K-12 after growth on xanthosine has been demonstrated. Like other purine nucleoside phosphorylases it is able to carry out both phosphorylosis and synthesis of purine deoxy- and ribonucleosides whilst pyrimidine nucleosides cannot act as substrates. In contrast to the well characterised purine nucleoside phosphorylase of E. coli K-12 (encoded by the deoD gene) this new enzyme could act on xanthosine and is hence called xanthosine phosphorylase. Studies of its substrate specificity showed that xanthosine phosphorylase, like the mammalian purine nucleoside phosphorylases, has no activity towards adenine and the corresponding nucleosides. Determinations of K m and gel filtration behaviour was carried out on crude dialysed extracts. The presence of xanthosine phosphorylase enables E. coli to grow on xanthosine as carbon source. Xanthosine was the only compound found which induced xanthosine phosphorylase. No other known nucleoside catabolising enzyme was induced by xanthosine. The implications of non-linear induction kinetics of xanthosine phosphorylase is discussed.

Communicated by G. O'Donovan