Enzymes of Ureide Synthesis in Pea and Soybean

Author(s): Christensen TM, Jochimsen BU


Soybean (Glycine max) and pea (Pisum sativum) differ in the transport of fixed nitrogen from nodules to shoots. The dominant nitrogen transport compounds for soybean are ureides, while amides dominate in pea. A possible enzymic basis for this difference was examined.The level of enzymes involved in the formation of the ureides allantoin and allantoic acid from inosine 5'-monophosphate (IMP) was compared in different tissues of pea and soybean. Two enzymes, 5'-nucleotidase and uricase, from soybean nodules were found to be 50- and 25-fold higher, respectively, than the level found in pea nodules. Other purine catabolizing enzymes (purine nucleosidase, xanthine dehydrogenase, and allantoinase) were found to be at the same level in the two species. From comparison of enzyme activities in nodules with those from roots, stems, and leaves, two enzymes were found to be nodule specific, namely uricase and xanthine dehydrogenase. The level of enzymes found in the bacteroids indicated no significant contribution of Rhizobium japonicum purine catabolism in the overall formation of ureides in the soybean nodule. The presence in the nodules of purine nucleosidase and ribokinase activities makes a recirculation of the ribose moiety possible. In concert with phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthetase, ribose becomes available for a new round of purine de novo synthesis, and thereby ureide formation.

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