The purification and properties of the glutamine synthetase from the cytosol of Soya-bean root nodules

McParland, R.H.; Guevara, J.G.; Becker, R.R.; Evans, H.J.

Biochemical Journal 153(3): 597-606


ISSN/ISBN: 0264-6021
PMID: 8035
DOI: 10.1042/bj1530597
Accession: 068517831

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The major portion of glutamine synthetase activity in root nodules of soya-bean plants is associated with the cytosol rather than with Rhizobium japonicum bacteroids. Glutamine synthetase accounts for about 2% of the total soluble protein in nodule cytosol. Glutamine synthetase from nodule cytosol has been purified by a procedure involving fractionation with protamine sulphate, ammonium sulphate and polypropylene glycol, chromatography on DEAE-Bio-Gel A and Bio-Gel A-5m and affinity chromatography on glutamate-agarose columns. The purified preparation appeared to be homogeneous in the analytical ultracentrifuge. From sedimentation-equilibrium experiments a mol. wt. of about 376000 was determined for the native enzyme and 47300 for the enzyme in guanidinium chloride. From these data and measurements of electron micrographs, we have concluded that glutamine synthetase from nodule cytosol consists of eight subunits arranged in two sets of planar tetramers which form a cubical configuration with dimensions of about 10 nm (100 A) across each side. Glutamine synthetase from nodule cytosol has a higher glycine and proline content and a lower content of phenylalanine than the glutamine synthetase that has been prepared from pea seed. The cytosol enzyme contains four half-cystine molecules per subunit, which is in contrast with two reported for the enzyme from pea seed. Enzyme activity is striking influenced by the relative proportion of Mg2+ and Mn2+ in the assay medium. Activity is inhibited by feedback inhibitors and is influenced by energy charge.