Evidence for an Essential Histidine in Neutral Endopeptidase 24.11

R. C. Bateman, Louis B. Hersh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Rat kidney neutral endopeptidase 24.11, “enkephalinase”, was rapidly inactivated by diethyl pyrocarbonate under mildly acidic conditions. The pH dependence of inactivation revealed the modification of an essential residue with a of 6.1. The reaction of the unprotonated group with diethyl pyrocarbonate exhibited a second-order rate constant of 11.6 M-1 s-1and was accompanied by an increase in absorbance at 240 nm. Treatment of the inactivated enzyme with 50 mM hydroxylamine completely restored enzyme activity. These findings indicate histidine modification by diethyl pyrocarbonate. Comparison of the rate of inactivation with the increase in absorbance at 240 nm revealed a single histidine residue essential for catalysis. The presence of this histidine at the active site was indicated by (a) the protection of enzyme from inactivation provided by substrate and (b) the protection by the specific inhibitor phosphoramidon of one histidine residue from modification as determined spectrally. The dependence of the kinetic parameter upon pH revealed two essential residues with values of 5.9 and 7.3. It is proposed that the residue having a kinetic of 5.9 is the histidine modified by diethyl pyrocarbonate and that this residue participates in general acid/base catalysis during substrate hydrolysis by neutral endopeptidase 24.11.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4237-4242
Number of pages6
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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