Pyruvate formate-lyase (EC 184.108.40.206) from Streptococcus mutans strain JC2 was purified in an anaerobic glove box, giving a single band on disk and sodium dodecyl sulfate electrophoresis. This enzyme was immediately inactivated by exposure to the air. Enzyme activity was unstable even when stored anaerobically, but the activity was restored by preincubating the inactivated crude enzyme with S-adenosyl-L-methionine, oxamate, and reduced for ferredoxin or methylviologen. On the other hand, the purified enzyme was not reactivated. Either D-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate or dihydroxyacetone phosphate strongly inhibited this enzyme. The inhibitory effects of these compounds were largely influenced by enzyme concentration. The inhibition of these triose phosphates in cooperation with the reactivating effect of ferredoxin and the fluctuations of both the enzyme and the triose phosphate levels may efficiently regulate the pyruvate formate-lyase activity in S. mutans in vivo.
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