A cytosolic enzyme catalysing the acetylation of the diamines putrescine, cadaverine, 1,3-diaminopropane and 1,6-diaminohexane has been partially purified from reproductive tissue of the intestinal parasitic nematode Ascaris suum. The enzyme formed N-acetylated derivatives of the above diamines when incubated in the presence of acetyl-CoA. The Michaelis constants (Km) for the above diamines were 0.25 nM, 0.1 mM, 1.25 mM and 0.4 mM respectively, and the apparent Km for acetyl-CoA was 7.7 microM. sym-Norspermidine was also acetylated by this enzyme preparation, and, at a much lower rate, the enzyme acted on sym-norspermine. The common polyamines, spermidine and spermine, and histones were not substrates. Purification steps involved a freezing-and-thawing procedure to release enzyme activity from unknown inhibitors, DEAE-cellulose chromatography and affinity chromatography on cadaverine-Sepharose, from which the enzyme was eluted by increasing ionic strength. The enzyme exhibited an apparent Mr of about 38,000-40,000, and it consisted of at least two subunits, of which the catalytic one had an Mr of about 13,000. The partially purified enzyme showed no deacetylase activity, and its activity was competitively inhibited by the product N-acetylputrescine, but not by CoA. The name putrescine N-acetyltransferase is suggested for this enzyme, which may have an important function in the degradation of diamines of lower eukaryotes.
- © 1989 London: The Biochemical Society