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Radiation inactivation of hamster acrosin reveals that the biologically active unit is of low molecular size






Biology of Reproduction 37(1): 249-256

Radiation inactivation of hamster acrosin reveals that the biologically active unit is of low molecular size

The relationship between structure and activity of acid-extracted and purified acrosin obtained from cauda epididymal hamster spermatozoa was studied. A four-step purification procedure of acrosin was used; it included 1.) acid extraction, 2.) gel filtration over Sephadex G-100 resin, 3.) ion exchange on CM-Sepharose CL-6B, and 4.) affinity chromatography on proflavin-Sepharose 4B. Analysis of the purified enzyme by high-performance liquid chromatography (300 SW + I-125) revealed a molecular weight of 44,000, which was identical to that obtained for acid-extracted acrosin. Slab-gel electrophoresis under nondenaturing conditions showed only one active band, as revealed with a highly sensitive assay using N.alpha.-benzyloxycarbonyl-L-lysine thiobenzyl ester as substrate. The radiation inactivation size of acid extracted acrosin was calculated to be 8400. This small unit could represent the active polypeptide portion of a larger monomer molecule or could represent the size of active subunits. Because acrosin is autocatalytic and highly active during fertilization, it is suggested that the active portion of the completely processed form of the enzyme is of small molecular weight.


Accession: 001667703

PMID: 3477295

DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod37.1.249



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