Hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine in phosphatidylcholine-cholate mixtures by porcine pancreatic phospholipase A2

N. Gheriani Gruszka, S. Almog, R. L. Biltonen, D. Lichtenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pancreatic phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-catalyzed hydrolysis of egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (PC) in mixed PC-cholate systems depends upon composition, structure, and size of the mixed aggregates. The hydrolysis of PC-cholate-mixed micelles made of an equal number of PC and cholate molecules is consistent with a K(m) of about 1 mM and a turnover number of about 120 s-1. Increasing the cholate/PC ratio in the micelles results in a decreased initial velocity. Hydrolysis of cholate-containing unilamellar vesicles is very sensitive to the ratio of cholate to PC in the vesicles. The hydrolysis of vesicles with an effective cholate/PC ratio greater than 0.27 is similar to that of the mixed micelles. The time course of hydrolysis of vesicles with lower effective ratios is similar to that exhibited by pure dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) large unilamellar vesicles in the thermotropic phase transition region. In the latter two cases, the rate of hydrolysis increases with time until substrate depletion becomes significant. The reaction can be divided phenomenologically into two phases: a latency phase where the amount of product formed is a square function of time (P(t) = At2) and a phase distinguished by a sudden increase in activity. The parameter A, which describes the activation rate of the enzyme during the initial phase in a quantitative fashion, increases with increasing [PLA2], decreasing [PC], decreasing vesicle size, and increasing relative cholate content of the vesicles. The effect of [PLA2] and [PC] on the hydrolysis reaction is similar to that found with pure DPPC unilamellar vesicles in their thermotropic phase transition region. The effect of cholate on the hydrolysis reaction is similar to that of temperature variation within the phase transition of DPPC. These results are consistent with our previously proposed model, which postulates that activation of PLA2 involves dimerization of the enzyme on the substrate surface and that the rate of activation is directly proportional to the magnitude of lipid structural fluctuations. It is suggested that large structural fluctuations, which exist in the pure lipid system in the phase transition range, are introduced into liquid crystalline vesicles by the presence of cholate and thus promote activation of the enzyme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11808-11813
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1988


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