α-Glucan phosphorylase was extracted fromDioscorea rotundata tubers and purified 55 fold with specific activity of 360 nmol min-1 mg-1 protein and a yield of 41.5 %. By electrophoresis of purified enzyme on polyacrylamide gel a single band of phosphorylase activity appeared. The enzyme showed normal Michaelis-Menten kinetics and was activated by AMP. ATP, ADP, ADP-glucose, calcium and magnesium inhibited the enzyme. It is active in the presence and absence of primer. No effects were observed on the addition of glycolytic intermediates or amino acids. Using gel filtration molecular mass of the enzyme determined is 188 000 and the extract seems to contain one form. Properties of the enzyme indicate that phosphorylase from white yam tuber functions primarily as a starch degrading enzyme. The possible role of the enzyme during yam tuber storage is dicussed.
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