Answer to Question #177183 in Biochemistry for Receiver Khoza

Question #177183

Destroying the Trojan horse. Penicillin is hydrolyzed and thereby rendered inactive by penicillinase (also known as β-lactamase), an enzyme present in some resistant bacteria. The mass of this enzyme in Staphylococcus aureus is 29.6 kd. The amount of penicillin hydrolyzed in 1 minute in a 10-ml solution containing 10-9 g of purified penicillinase was measured as a function of the concentration of penicillin. Assume that the concentration of penicillin does not change appreciably during the assay.

Expert's answer

Hydrolytic driving force. The hydrolysis of pyrophosphate to orthophosphate is important in driving forward biosynthetic reactions such as the synthesis of DNA. This hydrolytic reaction is catalyzed in Escherichia coli by a pyrophosphatase that has a mass of 120 kd and consists of six identical subunits. For this enzyme, a unit of activity is defined as the amount of enzyme that hydrolyzes 10 μmol of pyrophosphate in 15 minutes at 37°C under standard assay conditions. The purified enzyme has a Vmax of 2800 units per milligram of enzyme.

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