The estrogen synthetase present in human placental microsomes appears to be dependent on the cooperative interaction of the reduced cofactors NADPH and NADH for optimal activity. Using steady-state concentrations of either cofactor, it was found that while the estrogen synthetase activity followed hyperbolic saturation kinetics with NADPH (Kmapp = 14 μM), the enzyme followed sigmoidal saturation kinetics when the cofactor was NADH, with the half-maximum velocity attained at a cofactor concentration of 1.1 mm. The maximum velocity obtained with NADPH as the cofactor was greater than with corresponding concentrations of NADH. Estrogen synthetase activity in the presence of NADH was not due to NADPH contamination. NADH, in the presence of small concentrations of NADPH (0.5 to 5 μm), stimulated significantly the rate of estrogen formation from androstenedione by placental microsomes and, in addition, the enzyme saturation kinetics changed from sigmoidal to hyperbolic, thus mimicking the effect of NADPH. Estrogen synthetase activity, measured in the presence of 1 mm NADH, was stimulated in a dose-dependent manner by NADPH (Kmapp = 0.4 μM NADPH) and, when the enzyme was measured in the presence of 5 μm NADPH, the activity was stimulated in a dose-dependent manner by NADH (Kmapp = 45 μM NADH). Estrogen synthetase activity measured in the presence of NADH, without and with NADPH (1 μm) remained linear both with time of incubation for approximately 15 min and with microsomal protein concentration up to 3 mg/ml. The apparent Km of estrogen synthetase for androstenedione, when measured in the presence of NADH, was 1 μm. The synergistic interaction between NADH and NADPH in stimulating placental estrogen synthetase activity observed in vitro may, conceivably, take place in vivo in the intact placenta.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology