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Biochem J. 1974 Nov;144(2):281-92.

Soluble neutral and acid maltases in the suckling-rat intestine. The effect of cortisol and development.


The 100000g supernatants from 13-day-old suckling-rat intestinal homogenates contained 43.5% of the total intestinal maltase activity, compared with 7.1% in weaned adult rats aged 40 days. The soluble maltase activity was separated on Sepharose 4B into two quantitatively equal fractions at pH6.0, one containing a maltase with a neutral pH optimum and the other a maltase with an acid pH optimum. The neutral maltase was shown to be a maltase-glucoamylase identical with membrane-bound maltase-glucoamylase in molecular weight, heat-sensitivity, substrate specificity, K(m) for maltose and K(i) for Tris. The soluble enzyme was induced by cortisol, but the ratio of the soluble to bound enzyme fell during induction. Solubility of the neutral maltase was not accounted for by the action of endogenous proteinases under the preparative conditions used. It is postulated that the soluble neutral maltase is a membrane-dissociated form of the bound enzyme and that the relationship between these two forms is modulated by cortisol. The acid maltase generally resembled acid maltase of liver, muscle and kidney. It was shown to be a maltase-glucoamylase with optimal activity at pH3.0, and molecular weight of 136000 by density-gradient centrifugation. At pH3.0 its K(m) for maltose was 1.5mm. It was inhibited by turanose (K(i)=7.5mm) and Tris (K(i)=5.5mm) but not by p-chloromercuribenzoate or EDTA. Some 55% of its activity was destroyed by heating at 50 degrees C for 10min. The acid maltase closely resembled beta-glucuronidase and acid beta-galactosidase in its distribution in the intestine, response to tissue homogenization in various media, and decrease in activity with cortisol treatment and weaning, indicating that it was a typical lysosomal enzyme concentrated in the ileum.

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