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Biochem J. 1975 Aug;149(2):463-9.

Studies of the acetylcholinesterase from houseflies (Musca domestica L.) resistant and susceptible to organophosphorus insecticides.


Acetylcholinesterase from the heads of insecticide-resistant and -susceptible houseflies (Musca domestica L.) was studied in vitro. The enzymes could not be distinguished electrophoretically, and their behaviour on polyacrylamide-disc-gel electrophoresis was influenced by the presence of Triton X-100 in both the homogenate and the gels. In the absence of detergent, the acetylcholinesterase was heterogeneous, but behaved as a single enzyme when it was present. By analogy with studies of acetylcholinesterase from other sources, these observations were attributed to aggregation of the enzyme when not bound by membranes. The enzyme from resistant flies was more slowly inhibited than the susceptible enzyme, bimolecular rate constants (ki) differing by approx. 4-20-fold for a range of organophosphorus compounds. The kinetics of inhibition of acetylcholinesterase were consistent with the results of electrophoresis, i.e. they corresponded to those of a single enzyme in the presence of Triton X-100, but a mixture of enzymes in its absence. The susceptibility of the more sensitive components in these mixtures was determined.

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