Bragger, J.M., Dunn, R.V. & Daniel, R.M. (2000). Enzyme activity down to −100°C. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Protein Structure and Molecular Enzymology, 1480(1-2), 278-282.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4449
The activities of two enzymes, beef liver catalase (EC 126.96.36.199) and calf intestine alkaline phosphatase (EC 188.8.131.52), have been measured down to −97°C and −100°C, respectively. Enzyme activity has not previously been measured at such low temperatures. For catalase, the cryosolvents used were methanol:ethylene glycol:water (70:10:20) and DMSO:ethylene glycol:water (60:20:20). For alkaline phosphatase, methanol:ethylene glycol:water (70:10:20) was used. All of the Arrhenius plots were linear over the whole of the temperature range examined. Since the lowest temperatures at which activity was measured are well below the dynamic transition observed for proteins, the results indicate that the motions which cease below the dynamic transition are not essential for enzyme activity. In all cases the use of cryosolvent led to substantial increases in Arrhenius activation energies, and this imposed practical limitations on the measurement of enzyme activity below −100°C. At even lower temperatures, enzyme activity may be limited by the effect of solvent fluidity on substrate/product diffusion, but overall there is no evidence that any intrinsic enzyme property imposes a lower temperature limit for enzyme activity.