1. p-Nitrophenyl (PNP) acetate and propionate show a burst of p-nitrophenoxide release when their hydrolysis is catalysed by sheep liver cytosolic aldehyde dehydrogenase. This is not seen in the presence of NAD+ or NADH, implying a change in rate-determining step. 2. 6-Nitrodihydrocoumarin (6-NDC) shows no burst of absorbance in the visible region. We propose that the pKa of the transient ‘reporter group’ produced during the hydrolysis of this lactone is high (approx. 10) and that the incipient covalently linked p-nitrophenoxide moiety is protonated immediately on formation. The small burst seen in the hydrolysis of 5-nitro-2-coumaranone (5-NC) suggests that the pKa of its reporter group is about 8.5. 3. NADH markedly enhances the steady-state rate with the lactones. 5-NC shows a large rapid burst of colour development in the presence of NADH; this implies that NADH decreases the pKa of the reporter group to 7–7.5. 4. In the presence of NAD+, 5-NC and 6-NDC give an unusual ‘negative burst’ in the stopped-flow traces. We propose that, under these circumstances, acylation of the enzyme is extremely fast and that the first event seen in the stopped-flow traces is protonation of the reporter group. NAD+ also greatly increases the steady-state rate. 5. With the lactones in the presence of NADH, the kcat value (nearly 6 s-1), a measure of the deacylation rate, is compatible with the single-site model for dehydrogenase and esterase activities.
- The Biochemical Society, London © 1996