Structural effect of amine N-oxides on the facilitation of α-glucosidase-catalyzed hydrolysis reactions

  • Takuma Aoki
  • Yuichi Nakagawa
  • Ryutaro Genjima
  • Kazuya KoumotoEmail author
Research Paper


Activation and stabilization of enzymes is an important issue in their industrial application. We recently reported that synthetic betaines, derived from cellular metabolites, structure-dependently increased the activity and stability of various enzymes including hydrolases, oxidases, and synthetases simply by mixing them into the reaction buffer. In this report, we focus on amine N-oxides, which are similarly important metabolites in cells with a highly polarized N-oxide bond, and investigate their enzyme stabilization and activation behavior. It was revealed that synthetic amine N-oxides structure-dependently activate α-glucosidase-catalyzed hydrolysis reactions similarly to betaines. The subsequent comparison of the kinetic parameters, the optimal concentration range for activation, and the maximal activity, suggested that amine N-oxides facilitate hydrolysis reactions via the same mechanism as betaines, because no differences were confirmed. However, the enzyme stabilization effect of amine N-oxides was slightly superior to that of betaines and the temporal stability of the enzyme in aqueous solutions was higher in the low amine N-oxide concentration range. The rheological properties, CD spectra, and dynamic fluorescence quenching experiments suggested that the suppression of unfavorable conformational perturbation was related to the difference in the hydration environments provided by the surrounding water molecules. Thus, we clarified that amine N-oxides facilitate enzyme reactions as a result of their similarity to betaines and provide a superior stabilizing effect for enzymes. Amine N-oxides show potential for application in enzyme storage and long-term reactions.


Amine N-oxides Enzyme stabilization/activation Hydration α-Glucosidase Betaines 



We thank the Center for Analytical Instrumentation at Chiba University for measurement of the MS spectra of the synthetic amine N-oxides and Edanz Group ( for editing a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

449_2019_2248_MOESM1_ESM.docx (634 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 633 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takuma Aoki
    • 1
  • Yuichi Nakagawa
    • 1
  • Ryutaro Genjima
    • 1
  • Kazuya Koumoto
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nanobiochemistry, FIRST (Frontiers of Innovative Research in Science and Technology)Konan UniversityKobeJapan

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