A purified preparation of arginine decarboxylase fromCucumis sativus seedlings displayed ornithine decarboxylase activity as well. The two decarboxylase activities associated with the single protein responded differentially to agmatine, putrescine andPi. While agmatine was inhibitory (50 %) to arginine decarboxylase activity, ornithine decarboxylase activity was stimulated by about 3-fold by the guanido arnine. Agmatine-stimulation of ornithine decarboxylase activity was only observed at higher concentrations of the amine. Inorganic phosphate enhanced arginine decarboxylase activity (2-fold) but ornithine decarboxylase activity was largely uninfluenced. Although both arginine and ornithine decarboxylase activities were inhibited by putrescine, ornithine decarboxylase activity was profoundly curtailed even at 1 mM concentration of the diamine. The enzyme-activated irreversible inhibitor for mammalian ornithine decarboxylase,viz. α-difluoromethyl ornithine, dramatically enhanced arginine decarboxylase activity (3–4 fold), whereas ornithine decarboxylase activity was partially (50%) inhibited by this inhibitor. At substrate level concentrations, the decarboxylation of arginine was not influenced by ornithine andvice-versa. Preliminary evidence for the existence of a specific inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase activity in the crude extracts of the plant is presented. The above results suggest that these two amino acids could be decarboxylated at two different catalytic sites on a single protein.
Volume 45, 2020
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