|Han, Q.; Li, J.; Li, J.
|pH dependence, substrate specificity and inhibition of human kynurenine aminotransferase I
|Eur J Biochem
|Human kynurenine aminotransferase I/glutamine transaminase K (hKAT-I) is an important multifunctional enzyme. This study systematically studies the substrates of hKAT-I and reassesses the effects of pH, Tris, amino acids and alpha-keto acids on the activity of the enzyme. The experiments were comprised of functional expression of the hKAT-I in an insect cell/baculovirus expression system, purification of its recombinant protein, and functional characterization of the purified enzyme. This study demonstrates that hKAT-I can catalyze kynurenine to kynurenic acid under physiological pH conditions, indicates indo-3-pyruvate and cysteine as efficient inhibitors for hKAT-I, and also provides biochemical information about the substrate specificity and cosubstrate inhibition of the enzyme. hKAT-I is inhibited by Tris under physiological pH conditions, which explains why it has been concluded that the enzyme could not efficiently catalyze kynurenine transamination. Our findings provide a biochemical basis towards understanding the overall physiological role of hKAT-I in vivo and insight into controlling the levels of endogenous kynurenic acid through modulation of the enzyme in the human brain.