1. Aspartate transcarbamoylase was purified approx. 3000-fold from wheat (Triticum vulgare) germ in 15-20% yield. The product has a specific activity of 14 mumol/min per mg of protein and is approx. 90% pure. The purification scheme includes the use of biospecific “imphilyte” chromatography as described by Yon [Biochem. J. (1977) 161, 233-237]. The enzyme was passed successively through columns of CPAD [N-(3-carboxypropionyl)aminodecyl]-Sepharose in the absence and presence respectively of the ligands UMP and L-aspartate. In the second passage the enzyme was specifically displaced away from impurities with which it co-migrated in the first passage. These two steps contributed a factor of 80 to the overall purification. 2. The enzyme is slowly inactivated on dilution at 0 degrees C and pH 7.0, the inactivation being partially reversible. A detailed investigation of the temperature- and pH-dependence of the cold-inactivation suggested that it was initiated by the perturbation of the pKa values of groups with a moderately high and positive heat of ionization, which were tentatively identified as histidine residues. These findings support a new concept of cold-lability proposed by Bock, Gilbert & Frieden [Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1975) 66, 564-569].
- © 1979 London: The Biochemical Society