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Publication numberUS3912588 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 14, 1975
Filing dateOct 31, 1973
Priority dateMay 5, 1971
Also published asCA960946A, CA960946A1, CA993386A, CA993386A1, DE2122255A1, DE2122255B2, DE2122255C3, DE2122294A1, DE2122294B2, DE2122294C3, US3806416, US3806420, US3907644
Publication numberUS 3912588 A, US 3912588A, US-A-3912588, US3912588 A, US3912588A
InventorsHans Mollering, Klaus Beaucamp, Michael Nelboeck-Hochstetter, Hans Ulrich Bergmeyer
Original AssigneeBoehringer Mannheim Gmbh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Creatine amidohydrolase in the conversion of creatinine to creatine
US 3912588 A
Creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase are prepared by a process comprising culturing a microorganism in a creatinine-containing medium, digesting same, obtaining the creatinine amidohydrolase in substantially pure form from the water-soluble digestion fraction and, optionally separating by ion exchange chromatography any creatine amidinohydrolase present.
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United States Patent Mollering et al. Oct. 14, 1975 [5 CREATINE AMIDOHYDROLASE IN THE [58] Field of Search 195/29, 103.5 R

CONVERSION OF CREATININE TO CREATINE [56] References Cited [75] Inventors: Hans Mollering; Klaus Beaucamp; UNITED STATES PATENTS Michael Nelbwcknmhstetter; Hans 3,806,420 4 1973 HOlZ et al 195/66 R Ulrich Bergmeyer, all of Tutzing, Upper Bavaria, Germany Assignee: Boehringer Mannheim G.m.b.H., Mannheim, Germany Filed: Oct. 31, 1973 Appl. No.: 411,526

Related US. Application Data Division of Ser. No. 249,589, May 2, 1972, Pat. No. 3,806,416.

Foreign Application Priority Data May 5, 1971 Germany 2122298 US. Cl. 195/29; l95/l03.5 R

Int. Cl. C12K l/00; C12D 13/06 Primary Examiner-Lionel M. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Bur'gess, Dinklage & Sprung [57] ABSTRACT Creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase are prepared by a process comprising culturing a microorganism in a creatinine-containing medium, digesting same, obtaining the creatinine amidohydrolase in substantially pure form from the water-soluble digestion fraction and, optionally separating by ion exchange chromatography any creatine amidinohydrolase present.

1 Claim, No Drawings CREATINE AMIDOHYDROLASE IN THE CONVERSION OF CREATININE TO CREATINE This is a division of application Ser. No. 249,589, filed May 2, 1972, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,806,416, issued Apr. 23, 1974.

The invention is concerned with two new enzymes, creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase, and with a novel process for the preparation thereof from microorganisms.

in clinical chemistry, especially for the functional di agnosis of the kidney, the determination of the intermediate and end products of protein metabolism play an important part. The products of this metabolism include creatinine and creatine. Methods for the determination of creatinine have already been frequently described. Most of the known methods are based on the nonenzymatic Jaffe reaction which, however, suffers from the disadvantage of being non-specific.

Furthermore, there has also been described a specific microbiological method of determination of creatinine with the use of isolated bacteria in which washed cell suspensions were used for the measurement of the creatinine and the formation of urea and ammonia was used as a measure of the enzyme action. However, it was not possible to obtain soluble enzyme extracts capable of breaking down creatinine. A prerequisite for the provision of a specific creatinine determination with the help of enzymes is, however, the discovery of appropriate soluble enzymes which can catalyze specific and measurable reactions of creatinine. With this object in view, experiments have been carried outwith, for example, Corynebacterium, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Pseudomonas ovalis, Pseudomonas eisenbergii and Clostridia, but all of these experiments were successful.

Roche, Lacombe and Girard (BBA 6, 210/1950) characterized, in two types of Pseudomonas, creatinase, creatininase and a glycocyaminase as specific enzymes which liberate urea from their substrates from the guanidino group. Furthermore, Akamatsu et al (Enzymologia, 15, 122, 158, 173/1951) found, in soil bacteria, an enzyme which they called creatine-mutase and which brings about the equilibrium adjustment between creatinine and creatine. The following course of breakdown of the creatinine was assumed:

Creatinine creatine urea and sarcosine glycine N11 We have now found and isolated, in a state of high purity, two enzymes in microorganisms, which enzymes appear to decisively participate in the breakdown of creatinine, viz., a creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase.

The present invention thus provides two new enzymes, as well as a process for the isolation and purification thereof.

In addition, this invention provides a process for obtaining creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase from microorganisms. The process essentially comprises culturing a microorganism in a creatinine-containing medium, digesting same and obtaining the creatinine amidohydrolase in pure form from the water-soluble digestion fraction by known biochemical purification and fractionation methods carried out at a pH value above 7.0, with the use of a test in which creatine formed from added creatinine is determined in known manner. Thereafter, if desired, any

a. creatinine H O creatinine amidihydrolase creatine b. creatine H O creatine amidinohydrolase sarcosine urea Since equation (a) is that of an equilibrium reaction with the taking up or removal of water, the enzyme which participates in this reaction is called creatinine amidohydrolase.

As starting material for obtaining the two new enzymes, there can, in general, be used microorganisms in which the desired enzymes are adaptively enriched, this usually taking place by culturing the microorganisms in the presence of or with the addition of creatinine.

A water-soluble fraction is obtained by digestion of the microorganism so obtained. The usual digestion methods can be used, depending upon the strength or resistance of the cell membrane of the microorganism used. High pressure dispersion and ultrasonic digestion have proved to be especially useful. Further examples of digestion methods include the use of disintegration mills, for example those of Balutini and Schlossmann,-

and digestion methods working on a similar basis. Chemical or enzymatic digestion methods can also be used.

The creatinine amidohydrolase can be enriched from the so obtained watersoluble fraction by utilizing its abililty to convert creatinine into creatine. The creatine formed can be determined by known methods, for example, by the addition of adenosine triphosphate and measurement in the usual way of the adenosine diphosphate formed. It is, however, necessary to operate at pH values above 7 and to select a purification method which can be used at these pH values.

According to a further method of following the progress of the enrichment process, the creatine formed is split with creatine amidinohydrolase, with the fon'nation of arcosine and urea, and then to determine the urea in the usual way, for example, by the use of urease.

The extent to which the purification is carried out depends upon the intended use of the enzyme or enzymes. If it is desired to obtain a preparation suitable for the enzymatic determination of creatinine, a single purification step suffices. Examples of such purification steps include a polyanion treatment, fractionation with organic solvents or chromatography. "With the use of the above-mentioned methods of determination, it is possible, in a simple manner to ascertain the content of the desired enzyme and to enright it to a considerable extent in a single step.

Since a comparatively long storage of the collected and frozen microorganisms could lead to a decrease of activity of the desired enzymes, the cells are preferably further worked up as quickly as possible after collection. Two microorganisms preferred for carrying out the process of the present invention are Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400 of the family Achromo ba ctericeae and Penicillium WS 90001. These two microorganisms are deposited, under the stated numbers, in the collection of the Bacteriological Institute of the Technical University, Munich, Germany, at Weihenstephan.

Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400 possesses the following properties: strictly oxidative gram-negative, short rodlets with peritrichous flagellation. The microorganism is weakly oxidase-positive, alkalizes litmus milk and is capable of denitrification. Furthermore, the following properties have been ascertained: I

properties have been ascertained.

growth at 4C. m-inositol growth at 41C. glycollate gelatine liquification pelargonate tributyrin fission adipate egg yolk reaction p-hydroxybenzoate pigment formation phenylacetate fermentation of: valine arabinose arginine glucose S-aminovalerate maltose tryptophane cellobiose betain trehalose hippurate 2-ketogluconate acetamide mannitol benzylamine According to present knowledge, this microorganism belongs to the Achromobacteraceae family and is to be assigned, with great probability, to the genus Alcaligenes.

The other preferred microorganism, namely WS 90001, is a fungus of the Penicillium genus.

In order adaptatively to enrich the desired enzymes in the microorganisms to be used according to the present invention, these are preferably cultured with the addition of creatinine to the nutrient medium. The microorganisms are advantageously allowed to grow on a nutrient substrate which contains glucose or glycerol, as a source of carbon and creatinine, as well as salts and vitamins in the amounts and compositions known in microbiology. An especially preferred nutrient medium has the following composition 0.5 wt.% glucose or glycerol 0.5 wt.% creatinine 0.08 wt.% ammonium sulphate 0.02 wt.% magnesium sulphate hydrate 0.05 wt.% yeast extract 1 mg. nicotine acid 1 mg. thiamine-p-aminobenzoic acid 1 mg. vitamin B.

0.l mg. biotin together with traces of iron sulphate, calcium chloride and manganese sulphate, dissolved in M/lO potassium phosphate buffer with a pH of 6 in the case of the Penicillium or with a pH of 7 in the case of Alcaligenes.

A strain of the microorganisms to be used according to the present invention is obtained in the usual way on agar tilted tubes by the addition of 2% agar to a suitable nutrient substrate, preferably to the above-described nutrient substrate, to which ml./liter of a 0.05 percent bromothymol blue solution is also added. Under optimum growth conditions, the indicator changes color, in the case of the Penicillium after 4 to 6 days and in the case of the Alcaligenes in 2 to 3 days. The color change is clearly into the alkaline region, brought about by the breakdown of creatinine and creatine. Creatinineutilizing microorganisms which do not bring about the breakdown according to the above-mentioned metabolic scheme with the above-mentioned enzymes, do not bring about this alkylization.-

The microorganisms to be used according to the present invention permit the'economic production of creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase from the water-soluble protein fractions obtained from a digest of the microorganisms.

Since creatinine amidohydrolase and also creatine amidinohydrolase quickly losetheir activityat pH values of 6 and below and exhibit the greatest stability at pH values of about 8.0, the digestion is preferably carried out with the use of an alkaline buffer, 0.1M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0) being preferably used. The buffer and the buffer concentration used should preferably be such that any further enrichment of the enzymes can also be carried out in the buffer used for the digestion. When carrying out the digestion by high pressure dispersion, usually at about 700 to 800 ats., further purification can, when using a polyanion treatment, be carried out without previous separation of the cell residues. Examples of polyanions which can be used include protamine sulphate and water-soluble polyethyleneimines. It is preferred to add a watersoluble polyethyleneimine, for example, in the form of a 10 percent solution of pH 8. When using a solution of this concentration, an about 5 percent addition thereof, referred to the digest volume, is necessary to achieve complete precipitation. The precipitate can then be separated by physical means, for example, by filtering or centrifuging, the desired enzymes remaining in the supernatant A Instead of a polyanion precipitation, a precipitation with organic solvents can also be advantageous, isopropanol preferably being used..ln this case, the cell residues are first removed after the digestion and then the organic solvent is added at ambient temperature.'The isopropanol fractionation is preferably so carried out that at about 25C., 800 ml of percent isopropanol is added per liter of digest solution and the precipitate separated off. The precipitate obtained is again mixed with 500 ml. isopropanol per liter and the precipitate, which contains the two desired enzymes, separated off.

A combined use of the two above-mentioned methods, namely polyanion precipitation and subsequent fractionation with organic solvents, is especially preferred.

Not only the products obtained with a single enrichment step but also those with the two combined steps aresufficiently pure for use in a specific creatinine determination. The enzymes creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase are hereby always obtained in a mixture. If it is desired to separate the enzymes, the preparation so obtained is subsequently separated by exchange chromatography, 'a weakly basic ion exchanger, such as diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex or diethylaminoethylcellulose having proved to be especially useful.

The enzymes are adsorbed on the exchanger, for example on diethylaminoethyl-"Sephadex," at a low ion concentration, preferably below 0.1M and more preferably of about 0.01 to 0.05M. Subsequently, the exchanger is washed with an ion concentration of about 0.1M, non-active accompanying proteins thereby being removed. Creatinine amidohydrolase can then be eluted with 0.2M buffer solution, whereas the creatine amidinohydrolase still remains on the exchanger. It can also be eluted by increasing the ion concentration to 0.5M, for example, by using 0.2M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0) with a content of 0.3M sodium chloride or potassium chloride or a similar salt.

The above-described preferred embodiment of the process according to the present invention, which combines an isopropanol fractionation with an exchange chromatography, leads to an approximately 100 to 150 fold enrichment of the enzymes and gives a creatinine amidohydrolase preparation with a specific activity of more than 200 U/mg. The creatine amidinohydrolase is hereby enriched about 100 fold, a preparation with an activity of 3U/mg. being obtained.

According to another embodiment of the process according to the present invention, a very simple high purification of the desired enzymes can be obtained without separation when, in a batch process, sufficient exchanger is added to adsorb both enzymes. The exchanger is then separated and thereafter washed and subsequently eluted in the manner described above.

A further possibility for the purification and enrichment of the two enzymes is by means of salt precipitation of salt fractionation, for example, with the use of ammonium sulphate. Thus, when using ammonium sulphate, creatinine amidohydrolase precipitates at a concentration of 2.2M and creatine amidinohydrolase or the mixture of the two enzymes at a concentration of Salt precipitation can also be used for obtaining the enzymes from solutions thereof, such as are obtained, for example, by elution of the exchanger. By dialysis at about 4C., expediently against diluted buffer, for example 0.02M diethanolamine buffer (pl-l 8.0), the enzymes can be freed from salts and other low molecular weight accompanying materials.

The preparations so obtained can be stored for several months in a frozen state, without loss of activity.

If only creatinine amidohydrolase is desired, a further purification and enrichment step can also comprise a heating step at 60C. Such heating for a period of 5 minutes does not lead to any noticeable reduction of the creatinine amidohydrolase activity. However, in contradistinction thereto, the creatine amidinohydrolase loses its activity under these conditions.

The new enzymes according to the present invention can be used for scientific purposes, as well as for the specific determination of creatinine and creatine.

The following Examples are given for the purpose of illustrating the present invention:

EXAMPLE 1 Enrichment of active fungal mycelia in a submersed shake culture 2 liters of a nutrient substrate containing, by weight, 1 percent glucose, 0.5 percent creatinine, 0.08 percent ammonium sulphate, 0.02% magnesium sulphate heptahydrate, 0.05 percent yeast extract, 1 mg. each of nicotinic acid, thiamine-p-aminobenzoic acid and vita min 3,, 0.1 mg. biotin and traces of iron sulphate, calcium chloride and manganese sulphate, in 0.10M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 6) are inoculated in a shaking flask with 200 ml. ofa 48 hours old pre-culture of Penicillium WS 90001 and cultured in a shaking apparatus for 4 days. The creatinine content drops in this time from 0.5 percent weight to scarcely 0.1% by weight and, after this time, the glucose is almost used up. Furthermore, the pH value increases to 7.5 to 8.0. There are thus obtained 3 to 4 g. Penicillium WS 90001 dry weight per liter of culture solution with a content of 45 to 60 IU/g. dry weight of creatinine amidohydrolase.

EXAMPLE 2 In a culture flask containing 15 liters of the nutrient medium described in Example 1 are cultured, with vigorous aeration, 1.5 liters of a well grown pre-culturc of Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400. During the whole culturing period, the pH is maintained constant at 7.0. The creatinine and the glucose content are followed continuously. The creatine utilization takes place mainly in the second third of the log phase, whereas the glucose is broken down first. The culture is maintained at 30C. After 35 hours, 1.5 g. drybacteria mass can be collected per liter of culture solution. The specific activity of creatinine amidohydrolase is 1600 IU/g. dry weight.

EXAMPLE 3 Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400 is cultured, as described in Example 2, in a working volume of 60 liters. As soon as the desired stage of growth is reached, fresh nutrient substrate is added to the culture vessel and grown culture solution is removed from the culture vessel at the same rate. The dilution rate (flow velocity/working volume) is thereby 0.13 to 0.18 and preferably about 0. 16. 500 liters of air are passed through the culture solution per hour. There is thus obtained, by continuous culturing, a yield of 3 to 5 g. dry bacteria mass per liter, with a specific activity such as is obtained by the batch process described in Example 2.

Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400 is thus well suited for continuous culturing in the manner described above.

EXAMPLE 4 Isolation of highly purified creatinine amidohydrolase The cells (1 kg. dry weight) are separated from a culture batch of Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400 cultured in the presence of creatinine, then made up with 0.1M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0) to 20 liters and, without cooling, digested by high pressure dispersion at a pressure of about 800 ats. The extract is mixed with 5 vol. percent of a 10 percent polyethyleneimine solution (mol. weight about 1800) of pH 8.0 (about 1 liter). After the addition of potassium chloride (0.01M end molarity) and ammonium chloride (0.1M end molarity), there are added, within the course of 10 minutes, 0.8 volumes of percent aqueous isopropanol per liter of extract, followed by stirring for 30 minutes at ambient temperature.

The copious precipitate obtained is centrifuged off, whereafter 0.45 volumes of 90 percent isopropanol are added per liter of supernatant.

The precipitate so formed, which contains creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase, is separated off and taken up in 400 ml. 0.02M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0). Undissolved residue is separated off and the supernatant is applied to a diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex column (3.5 cm. X 1 m.) which has been equilibrated with the same buffer. Thereafter,

' the column is washed with 1 vol. 0.1M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 08.0) and then eluted with 0.2M potassium phosphate buffer (pl-l 8.0). The creatinine amidohydrolase-containing fractions are combined and adjusted at pH 8.0 with ammonium sulphate to 2.2M. The precipitated enzyme is centrifuged off and dissolved in 0.02M diethanolamine buffer (pH 8.0) to give a volume of ml. and then dialyzed for 4 hours at 4C. against the same buffer. There is thus obtained a total yield of 64 percent of a preparation with a specific amidinohydrolase is eluted with 0.2M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0), containing 0.3M sodium chloride. The following'Table II shows the details.

TABLE II Separation of creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase on diethylaminoethyl-Sephudex anion exchanger step protein creatinine amidocreatine amidinoin mg. hydrnlase hydrolase U U/mg. U U/mg.

after isopropanol 175 860 4.9 44 0.25 step diethylaminoethyl- 90 l Sephadex wash water 0.20M pH 8.0 29 787 27 0 (eluate) 0.50M pH 8.0 13.7 LS 0.13 41 3.0 (eluate) TABLE I EXAMPLE 6.

U (25C.) protein U/mg. yield The procedure described in Example 4 is repeated.

However, the diethylaminoethyl-"Sephadex chromadispersion 986 L8 100 tography is replaced by a diethylaminoethyl- X 5 Sephadex batch process. digestion 10 Starting from 100 g. Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400, 100 polyethyleneimine 2.6 66.2 3.9 93 ml. of the second isopropanol precipitate are dissolved T in 0.02M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0) and supernatant mixed with such an amount of diethylaminoethylfirsl ISOYPOPanol 1 77 Sephadex that in the supernatant there remain about 105 5 percent of each of the enzymes (about 20 g. of moist, adiiitioy P pressed out exchanger). The exchanger is filtered off, na ant dicthylaminoethyl, L8 059 303 64 washed with about 100 ml. 0.08M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0) and, for the oint elution of the two en- 10 Sephadex" chroma tography (eluates) When carrying out the digestion ultrasonically, instead of by high pressure dispersion, the content of creatinine amidohydrolase, with about the same specific activity, can be increased 2.5 fold, referred to the dry weight of the microorganisms used.

zymes, stirred with 100 ml. 0.2M potassium phosphate buffer (pH 8.0), containing 0.3M potassium chloride, for 15 minutes at 4C. and subsequently filtered. Both enzymes are present in the eluate. The following Table III shows that, by precipitation with ammonium sulphate, there can be obtained a preparation containing 31.5 U/mg. creatinine amidhydrolase and 1.1 U/mg. creatine amidinohydrolase.

TABLE III Isolation of an enriched enzyme mixture of creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase from l00 g. (dry weight) Alcaligenes spec. WS 51400 step protein creatinine amido creatine umidinoin g. hydrolase hydrolase U U/mg. U U/mg.

digest 26.! 2.4 X IO 0.92 6 X 10 0.023

second isopropanol addition 1.43 1.98 X 10 [3.9 3.8 X 10 0.265

(precipitate) diethylaminoethyl- Sephadex" eluate 0.370 l.l6 X 10 31.5 4.l X l0 1.]

0.5M pH 8.0

The creatinine amidohydrolase obtained as described EXAMPLE 7 above has an equilibrium constant [creatine]/[creatinine] K 1.27 (37C.; pH 8.0).

The Michealis constant for creatinine as substrate K 3.3 X'IO M (37C.; pH 8.0).


Separation of creatinine amidohydrolase and creatine amidinohydrolase The procedure described in Example 4 is repeated. However, after elution of the creatinine amidohydrolase from the exchanger column, the creatine Table IV shows the details of this process. The preparation obtained was only suitable for the determination of creatinine.

TABLE IV step U (25C) protein U/mg. yield in g.

ultrasonic 1.5 X 10 1.780 0.85 100 digest second isopropanol 1.2 X 10 0.119 10.1 80 addition (precipitate) diethylaminoethyl- 0.7 X 10 0.028 25 47 Sephadex eluate the consumption of NADH as measured optically. These known steps can be illustrated as follows:

1. creatine ATP CPK creatine phosphate ADP 2. ADP PEP PK pyruvate ATP 3. pyruvate NADH H LDH lactate NAD The creatine amidinohydrolase determination was carried out by measurement of the urea formed from creatinine, the urea thereby being measured by the urease process.

The Michealis constant for creatine was determined as follows: K 5 X 10 (25C.; pH 7.6).

It will be understood that the specification and examples are illustrative but not limitative of the present invention and that other embodiments within the spirit and scope of the invention will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.

What is claimed is:

1. Process for the conversion of creatinine to creatine, which process comprises incubating a creatininecontaining mixture with creatinine amidohydrolase at a pH above 7.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3806420 *May 2, 1972Apr 23, 1974Boehringer Mannheim GmbhProcess for the preparation of creatinine amidohydrolase
Referenced by
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US5047329 *Jan 5, 1988Sep 10, 1991Noda Institute For Scientific ResearchMethod for the measurement of creatine or creatinine and reagents for these measurements
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US6399661Jun 26, 2001Jun 4, 2002Jeffrey M. GoliniOral creatine supplement and method for making same
US6699700 *Nov 25, 1999Mar 2, 2004Kikkoman CorporationCreatine amidinohydrolase and process for producing the same
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U.S. Classification435/136, 435/933, 435/829, 435/824, 435/228, 435/227
International ClassificationC12Q1/50, C12Q1/34, C12N9/86, C12N9/78
Cooperative ClassificationC12Q1/50, C12N9/86, Y10S435/933, Y10S435/815, C12Q1/34, C12N9/78, Y10S435/824, G01N2333/986, G01N2333/978, Y10S435/829, Y10S435/816, G01N2333/9123
European ClassificationC12Q1/50, C12N9/86, C12Q1/34, C12N9/78