The mechanism of reactivation of diol dehydratase by its reactivating factor was investigated in vitro by using enzyme-cyanocobalamin complex as a model for inactivated holoenzyme. The factor mediated the exchange of the enzyme-bound, adenine-lacking cobalamins for free, adenine-containing cobalamins through intermediate formation of apoenzyme. The factor showed extremely low but distinct ATP-hydrolyzing activity. It formed a tight complex with apoenzyme in the presence of ADP but not at all in the presence of ATP. Incubation of the enzyme-cyanocobalamin complex with the reactivating factor in the presence of ADP brought about release of the enzyme-bound cobalamin, leaving the tight apoenzyme-reactivating factor complex. Although the resulting complex was inactive even in the presence of added adenosylcobalamin, it dissociated by incubation with ATP, forming the apoenzyme, which was reconstitutable into active holoenzyme with added coenzyme. Thus, it was established that the reactivation of the inactivated holoenzyme by the factor in the presence of ATP and Mg2+ takes place in two steps: ADP-dependent cobalamin release and ATP-dependent dissociation of the apoenzyme-factor complex. ATP plays dual roles as a precursor of ADP in the first step and as an effector to change the factor into the low-affinity form for diol dehydratase. The enzyme-bound adenosylcobalamin was also susceptible to exchange with free adeninylpentylcobalamin, although to a much lesser degree. The mechanism for discrimination of adenine-containing cobalamins from adenine-lacking cobalamins was explained in terms of formation equilibrium constants of the cobalamin-enzyme-reactivating factor ternary complexes. We propose that the reactivating factor is a new type of molecular chaperone that participates in reactivation of the inactivated enzymes.
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