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Journal Article

Structural differences in the catalytic subunits of acetylcholinesterase forms from the electric organ of Torpedo marmorata

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Witzemann,  Veit
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Working Group Witzemann / Koenen, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Molecular anatomy of the neuromuscular junction, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Department of Cell Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Witzemann, V., & Boustead, C. (1983). Structural differences in the catalytic subunits of acetylcholinesterase forms from the electric organ of Torpedo marmorata. EMBO Journal, 2(6), 873-878. doi:10.1002/j.1460-2075.1983.tb01516.x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-E7DB-5
Abstract
[3H]Diisopropylfluorophosphate was used to label covalently the catalytic subunits of the acetylcholinesterase forms extracted using different solubilization media. The incorporation of radiolabel was specific for true acetylcholinesterase, and SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that differences in molecular size existed between low salt-soluble (mol. wt. approximately 76 000), detergent-soluble (69 000) and high salt-soluble (72 000) acetylcholinesterase. These differences could not be attributed solely to an unusual migration behaviour but appeared to reflect differences in primary structure. While the basic unit of the low salt-soluble esterase was a monomer, the detergent-soluble esterase was linked by disulphide bridges to form dimers. The high salt-soluble form existed in large aggregates, whereby disulphide bridges form covalent links between the catalytic and non-catalytic elements. Pronase treatment showed that the differences were confined to the 'outer' structure of these molecules. The active site peptide exhibited homologies indicating that this part is conserved in the different classes of acetylcholinesterase. The results suggest that one can discriminate between at least three distinct esterase classes in the electric organ of Torpedo marmorata.