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Evidence of an aspartase activity in vitis vinifera berries

, : Evidence of an aspartase activity in vitis vinifera berries. Plant Physiology & Biochemistry (Paris) 25(6): 797-804

Asparate metabolism has been examined on active role crude extracts of ripe grape berries Vitis vinifera with enzymatic assays using L-[14C]aspartic acid as substrate, and recovery of radioactive neutral or acidic reaction products after fixation on cationic resin of unreacted L-[14C]asparate and positively charged molecules. The results of analyses by thin layer and high performance liquid chromatography of the organic acid fraction clearly show fumaric and malic acids suggesting the occurrence of a sequential aspartase-fumarase activity in vitro. Reverse reactions tested with U-[14C]fumarate and L-[14C]malate are also effective and aspartate is obtained as the reaction product. The enzymic activities are for both forward and backward reactions and for various varieties of grapes, close to 10 .mu.mol min-1 per kg of fresh berries (340 nkat g-1 protein). A significant activation effect of malate is observed for the forward reaction and a drastic inhibitory effect is displayed by many electrolytes. Overall, these results suggest that aspartase plays a key role in the regulation of organic acid pools in Vitis vinifera.

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