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Can J Microbiol. 1989 Apr;35(4):511-4.

The use of Tween 20 in a sensitive turbidimetric assay of lipolytic enzymes.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


A turbidimetric esterase assay was developed using a Tween 20 solution in the presence of CaCl2 and Lysobacter enzymogenes esterase (EC as the enzyme source. The reaction was followed by measuring the increase in the optical density at 500 nm (OD500) due to the hydrolytic release of the fatty acids from Tween 20 and their precipitation as the calcium salts. Concentrations of 1.8% Tween and 3 mM CaCl2 were found to be optimal for the assay of 0.036 to 0.15 esterase units in a 4-mL reaction mixture over a 30-min period. The esterase reactions were linear with time at least up to 1.2 OD500 and the rate of increase in the OD500 was proportional to the enzyme concentration. Low initial reaction rates were seen with low esterase activity, presumably because of the limited solubility of the fatty acid - calcium salt in a 1.8% Tween solution. This turbidimetric method is much simpler and at least 36 times more sensitive than the titrimetric assay with Tween 20, and at least four times more sensitive than a spectrophotometric assay with p-nitrophenyl palmitate. This assay has been used to determine the activities of cell-associated and excreted esterases produced by Lysobacter enzymogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and of lipolytic enzymes from porcine liver, Chromobacterium viscosum, Candida cylindracea, and wheat germ.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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