An oxygenase from guinea-pig liver which catalyses sulphoxidation

Kumaraswamy Prema, K. P. Gopinathan


A mono-oxygenase catalysing the conversion of 2-ethyl-4-thioisonicotinamide (ethionamide) into its sulphoxide was purified from guinea-pig liver homogenates. The enzyme required stoicheiometric amounts of oxygen and NADPH for the sulphoxidation reaction. The purified protein is homogeneous by electrophoretic, antigenic and chromatographic criteria. The enzyme has mol.wt. 85000 and it contains 1g-atom of iron and 1mol of FAD per mol, but not cytochrome P-450. The enzyme shows maximal activity at pH7.4 in a number of different buffer systems and the Km values calculated for the substrate and NADPH are 6.5×10−5m and 2.8×10−5m respectively. The activation energy of the reaction was calculated to be 36kJ/mol. Under optimal conditions, the molecular activity of the enzyme (mol of substrate oxidized/min per mol of enzyme) is calculated to be 2.1. The oxygenase belongs to the class of general drug-metabolizing enzymes and it may act on different compounds which can undergo sulphoxidation. The mechanism of sulphoxidation was shown to be mediated by superoxide anions.