The Structurally Specific Stereospecific, Saturable Binding of Pepperoni to Pizza
The binding of pepperoni (P) to pizza (Pizza) is well known (Doonesburry, 1982). In a recent stude, we have undertaken to elucidate the characteristrics and mechanisms of this binding. The following is a summary of the results of that study.
We have successfully demonstrated that the binding of the ligand P to Pizza is structurally specific, in that prior exposure of Pizza to various concentrations of kolbase, bratwurst or kosher salami will reduce or in the extreme case prevent the subsequent binding of P. This clearly demonstrates the structural specificity of the bidning.
The suspected stereospecificity of the binding was confirmed when it was found that P would not bind to the underside of the Pizza. The specific receptor is presumed to be mozzarella (MMM) cheese because it had to be present for binding to occur. The binding characteristics of P to Pizza and to MMM were found to be very similar. Thus, while not absolutely certain, it does appear that it is the cheese that binds. The affinity of P for MMM was quantitatively related to the number of MMM strands appearing when separation of P from MMM was attempted. P was also shown, quite inadvertently, to bind (but not well) to napkins and trousers.
The binding of P to Pizza was found to be saturable, reaching satiation as an asymptomatic hyperbola. Onions and garlic both exerted alliosteric effects. Garlic's effect was potently expressed whereas onion's effect was dicey.
The structurally-specific, stereospecific saturable binding of P to Pizza is readily antagonized by a variety of agents, including olive oil (in excess) and anchovies. Of these, the anchovies appear to compete with P for binding sites while olive oil's antagonism is insurmountable.
The competitive antagonisms by anchovies and kosher salami each show quite different kinetics leadng to the suggestion that there may be at least two different receptors for P. We have chosen to call these receptors P1 and Poo-Poo.
Finally, it must be reported that the above results notwithstanding, P's binding to Pizza is probably not of great functional significance and P may exert at best only a modulatory effect.