1. The action of the penicillin acylase enzyme of Escherichia coli N.C.I.B. 8743 on non-penicillin substrates suggests that the enzyme is an amidohydrolase. 2. The rates of hydrolysis for a small group of penicillins closely parallel those for a corresponding series of N-acylglycines. 3. For a series of E. coli strains, ability to cause rapid hydrolysis of phenylacetylglycine is correlated with ability to hydrolyse benzylpenicillin. 4. Amides and N-acylglycines are hydrolysed to the corresponding acids. The phenylacetyl group is hydrolysed most readily. Benzamide and β-phenylpropionamide are not substrates. In a series of aliphatic acylglycines only valeryl- and hexanoyl-glycine are substrates. 5. Acylated l- but not d-α-amino acids are hydrolysed. d-α-Hydroxyphenylacetamide is a better substrate than the l compound.
- © 1969 The Biochemical Society