Besides the appropriate pH range, for buffers two further criteria must be considered, the ionic strength and concentration, and the nature of buffer components. The more concentrated a buffer system, the higher its capacity to stabilize the pH. However, most enzymes accept only moderate ionic strength, PF-02341066 manufacturer commonly between 0.05 and 0.2 M, only halophilic and thermophilic enzymes prefer higher concentrations up to 1 M (Vieille and Zeikus, 2001, Rainey and Oren, 2006 and Gerday, 2007). On the other hand, low ionic strength destabilizes the protein structure. It must be further taken into account that each component of the assay mixture, like substrates,
cofactors, and additives like stabilizing factors (e.g. enzymes are frequently stored in concentrated ammonium sulphate solutions) contributes to the overall concentration. Moreover each addition can influence the adjusted pH, for example when a component (substrate, cofactor, or effector) is added in an acid or alkaline form without previous neutralisation. While the buffer neutralizes
low amounts, this need not be the case with higher amounts. Since any deviation from the pH optimum reduces obligatorily the enzyme activity, such an effect can easily be misinterpreted as enzyme inhibition: the more of the particular component is added, the lower the enzyme activity. The enzyme reaction Vincristine mw itself can cause pH shifts and consequently a continuous decrease of the activity, e.g. if an acid
or alkaline component becomes released during a cleavage reaction, like the liberation of fatty acids by lipase. In such cases only short initial reactions should be measured under continuous control of the actual pH in the solution. Alternatively, the pH can be kept constant applying a pH stat with an auto-burette, containing a neutralizing solution. Thiamet G The amount of this solution required for stabilizing the pH is a direct measure of the reaction rate (Taylor, 1985). Ions influence the enzyme activity both by means of their ionic strength and by their nature. The activity of a distinct enzyme can considerably differ when tested in two distinct buffer systems, even if they share the same pH and concentration. Various reasons are responsible for this behaviour. In some cases components of the buffer, like mono- or divalent metal ions influence directly the catalytic process, if required as essential cofactors, or by displacing the intrinsic factors. Complexing agents, like diphosphate (even monophosphate has a weak complexing capacity) can sequester essential ions, e.g. from ATP-dependent reactions, which require Mg2+ as counterions. Since ATP and not Mg2+ is the reacting component, such effects can easily be overlooked. Components of the buffer may have stabilizing or destabilizing influences on the protein structure. Destabilizing effects are incidentally ascribed to the frequently used Tris buffer (tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane).