Cryoprotection of phosphofructokinase with organic solutes: Characterization of enhanced protection in the presence of divalent cations

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Phosphofructokinase (PFK) purified from rabbit skeletal muscle is fully inactivated after being frozen in liquid nitrogen for 30 s and thawed. The addition of 500 mm trehalose, sucrose, or proline to the enzyme solution prior to freezing results in a recovery of over 70% of the original activity after thawing. Slightly less stabilization is imparted by maltose and 4-hydroxyproline whereas glucose, glycine, inositol, and glycerol at concentrations up to 500 mm are relatively ineffective at protecting PFK. With 50 mm trimethylamine-N-oxide, almost 50% of the prefreeze activity is recovered, and this same level of cryoprotection is noted at concentrations up to 500 mm. The addition of ionic zinc to enzyme-organic solute mixtures prior to freezing greatly enhances the cryoprotection imparted by all of the solutes tested. This effect is not simply due to the summation of the individual cryoprotective capacities of zinc and the organic solute because in many instances a great degree of cryoprotection is noted when each component is present at a concentration at which, by itself, it is totally ineffective. In the presence of a constant 50 mm organic solute concentration, freeze-thaw stabilization of PFK is increased as the concentration of zinc is increased. When the zinc concentration is held constant (0.6 mm) and organic solute concentration varied, the maximum cryoprotection, in most cases, is noted with less than 50 mm organic solute. At higher solute concentrations the degree of enhancement decreases such that with 500 mm organic solute the addition of zinc results in only a slight increase in protection. The addition of ionic copper, cadmium, nickel, and cobalt to trehalose-PFK solutions prior to freezing also increases the percentage of activity recovered after thawing. Magnesium, manganese, and calcium are ineffective in this respect. © 1986.

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Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics

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