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A Thermodynamic Investigation of Reactions Catalyzed by Tryptophan Synthase



N Kishore, Yadu D. Tewari, D Akers, Robert N. Goldberg, E. W. Miles


Microcalorimetry and high-performance liquid chromatography have been used to conduct a thermodynamic investigation of the following reactions catalyzed by the tryptophan synthase [alpha]2[Beta]2 complex (EC and its subunits:indole(aq) + L-serine(aq) = L-tryptophan(aq) + H2O(1),L-serine(aq) = pyruvate(aq) + ammonia(aq),indole(aq) + D-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate(aq) = 1-(indol-3-yl)glycerol 3-phosphate(aq),L-serine(aq) + 1-(indol-3-yl)glycerol 3-phosphate(aq) = L-tryptophan(aq) + D-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate(aq) + H2O(1).The calorimetric measurements led to standard molar enthalpy changes for all four of these reactions. Direct measurement yielded an apparent equilibrium constant for the third reaction; equilibrium constants for the remaining three reactions were obtained by using thermochemical cycle calculations. The results of the calorimetric and equilibrium measurements were analyzed in terms of a chemical equilibrium model that accounted for the multiplicity of the ionic states of the reactants and products. Thermodynamic quantities for chemical reference reactions involving specific ionic forms have been obtained. These quantities permit the calculation of the position of equilibrium of the above four reactions as a function of temperature, pH, and ionic strength. Values of the apparent equilibrium constants and standard transformed Gibbs free energy changes [Δ]rG'm[degree] under approximately physiological conditions are given. Le Chatelier's principle provides an explanation as to why, in the metabolic pathway leading to the synthesis of l-tryptophan, the third reaction proceeds in the direction of formation of indole and D-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate even though the apparent equilibrium constant greatly favors the formation of 1-(indo-3-yl)glycerol 3-phosphate.
Biophysical Chemistry
No. 73


calorimetry, equilibrium constant, indole, L-serine, thermodynamics, tryptophan synthase


Kishore, N. , Tewari, Y. , Akers, D. , Goldberg, R. and Miles, E. (1998), A Thermodynamic Investigation of Reactions Catalyzed by Tryptophan Synthase, Biophysical Chemistry (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created July 27, 1998, Updated February 19, 2017