Chemotactic stimulation of Dictyostelium discoideum cells induces a fast transient increase of cGMP levels which reach a peak at 10 s. Prestimulation levels are recovered in approximately 30 s, which is achieved mainly by the action of a guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase. This enzyme is activated about fourfold by low cGMP concentrations. The phosphodiesterase has two distinct cGMP-binding sites: a catalytic site and an activator site. cAMP does not bind to either site; inosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cIMP) binds only to the catalytic site, whereas 8-bromoguanosine 3',5'-monophosphate (c-b8-GMP) preferentially binds to the activator site. For detailed kinetical measurements we have used [3H]cIMP as the substrate and c-b8-GMP as the activator. c-b8-GMP activated the hydrolysis of [3H]cIMP by reducing the Km, whereas the Vmax was not altered. The hydrolysis of [3H]cIMP was measured at 5-s intervals by using a new method for the separation of 5'-nucleotides from cyclic nucleotides. The hydrolysis of [3H]cIMP by nonactivated enzyme or by preactivated enzyme was linear with time, which indicates that a steady state is reached at the catalytic site within 5 s after addition of the substrate. In contrast, the hydrolysis of [3H]cIMP immediately after activation by 0.1 microM c-b8-GMP was not linear with time, but increased in a quasi-exponential manner with a time constant of 21 s. This suggests that a steady state at the activator site is only reached in 30-45 s after addition of the activator. The on-rate of activation (k1) was 3 X 10(5) M-1s-1 for c-b8-GMP and 1.4 X 10(5) M-1s-1 for cGMP. The off-rate of activation (k-1) was 0.03 s-1 for both c-b8-GMP and cGMP. The significance of these kinetic constants for the chemoattractant-mediated cGMP response in vivo is discussed.

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