Molecular nature of β-Galactosidase from different tissues in two strains of the house mouse
One inbred mouse strain, C57BL/Kl, has high galactosidase activities in all tissues, while another strain, DBA/2/Kl, has low activities determined by the Bgs locus. β-Galactosidase from these two strains was partly purified by a five-step procedure: acidification, ammonium sulfate precipitation, gel filtration at two pHs, and isoelectric focusing. No qualitative differences were found between the enzyme preparations from the two strains. They had identical heat inactivation curves, pH optima, molecular weights, and isoelectric points, and the Km values were very similar. It thus seems that this genetic difference in enzyme activity probably cannot be explained by a variation of the galactosidase-specific activity but rather reflects a difference in number of enzyme molecules. Eight different isoenzymes were separated from liver, kidney, and spleen. Each isoenzyme has a different electrophoretic mobility and there is a stepwise increase in molecular weight from 143,000 to 380,000 beginning with the protein having the lowest isoelectric point. A likely interpretation is that the isoenzymes bind a smaller polypeptide in varying numbers in addition to the enzymatic polypeptide per se.
Key wordsβ-galactosidase house mouse isoenzymes genetic variation molecular properties tissue differences
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