* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received August 23, 2011; Revision received October 3, 2011
Enzymes of Erwinia carotovora that transaminate phenylpyruvate were isolated, purified, and characterized. Two aromatic aminotransferases (PAT1 and PAT2) and an aspartic aminotransferase (PAT3) were found. According to gel filtration, these enzymes have molecular weights of 76, 75, and 78 kDa. The enzymes consist of two identical subunits of molecular weights of 31.4, 31, and 36.5 kDa, respectively. The isoelectric points of PAT1, PAT2, and PAT3 were determined as 3.6, 3.9, and 4.7, respectively. The enzyme preparations considerably differ in substrate specificity. All three of the enzymes productively interacted with the following amino acids: L-aspartic acid, L-leucine (except PAT3), L-isoleucine (except PAT3), L-serine, L-methionine, L-cysteine, L-phenylalanine, L-tyrosine, and L-tryptophane. The aromatic aminotransferases display higher specificity to the aromatic amino acids and the leucine-isoleucine pair, whereas the aspartic aminotransferase displays higher specificity to L-aspartic acid and relatively low specificity to the aromatic amino acids. The aspartic aminotransferase does not use L-leucine or L-isoleucine as a substrate. PAT1, PAT2, and PAT3 show the highest activity at pH 8.9 and at 48, 53, and 58°C, respectively.
KEY WORDS: Erwinia carotovora, aromatic aminotransferase, purification, subunit content, isoelectric point, substrate specificity