Enhancement of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease activity by mercaptoethanol

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Science  10 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4333, pp. 1084-1087
DOI: 10.1126/science.564548


Incubation of ribonuclease with 0.1M mercaptoethanol at pH 8.5 can increase the enzyme's hydrolytic activity toward cytidine 2',3'-monophosphate (cyclic CMP) under standard assay conditions. Cation-exchange chromatography of the ribonuclease-thiol reaction mixture revealed seven fractions. The fraction with the highest activity had an approximate tenfold decrease in the apparent Michaelis constant for cyclic CMP with respect to native ribonuclease. The enhanced activity is a metastable property since this fraction reverts back to the control activity and chromatographic behavior of native ribonuclease on standing in solution at room temperature.