1. Michaelis constants of goldfish brain choline acetyltransferase were found to depend on the concentration of the second substrate present and on the temperature to which the fish had been adapted. 2. Primary plots constructed from results obtained with enzyme prepared from cold-adapted or warm-adapted fish indicated that synthesis of acetylcholine took place by a sequential mechanism. 3. The affinity of choline acetyltransferase for acetyl-CoA was about 100 times that for choline irrespective of whether the enzyme had been prepared from warm-adapted or cold-adapted fish. 4. The maximum rate at which choline acetyltransferase synthesized acetylcholine and the energy of activation for this synthesis remained independent of the previous environmental temperature of the fish. 5. The affinity of choline acetyltransferase for choline and acetyl-CoA showed a complex dependence on temperature. The affinity of the enzyme from cold-adapted fish for substrates increased as the incubation temperature was lowered, whereas that of the enzyme from warm-adapted fish first increased and then decreased. 6. The maximum affinity of choline acetyltransferase for both substrates, from both cold-adapted and warm-adapted fish, occurred at temperatures that corresponded approximately to the respective environmental temperatures of the fish. 7. These changes in enzyme affinity for substrates are not thought to be due to the presence of isoenzymes. Their adaptive significance is unknown, but it could be connected with the maintenance of the enzyme in a stable form.
- © 1972 London: The Biochemical Society