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Effect of formaldehyde on oxygen uptake and beta galactosidase activity in enterobacter aerogenes

Microbios Letters 10(38): 69-74

Effect of formaldehyde on oxygen uptake and beta galactosidase activity in enterobacter aerogenes

The effect of formaldehyde on O2 uptake and .beta.-galactosidase activities in cells of E. aerogenes 3317 was investigated. While neutral, alkaline and acidic formaldehyde all showed inhibition on O2 uptake, alkaline formaldehyde was most effective. The .beta.-galactosidase activity of the intact cells was remarkably reduced by alkaline formaldehyde at concentrations as low as 100 .mu.g/ml, while no inhibition of the enzyme activity was observed with this level of acidic formaldehyde. When treated with 750-2500 .mu.g/ml acidic formaldehyde, the .beta.-galactosidase activity was reduced to 36%. Alkaline formaldehyde at a concentration of 500 .mu.g/ml completely inhibited the enzyme activity. Alkaline formaldehyde reacted effectively with the cell membrane, thus preventing access of substrates to the membrane-bound respiratory enzymes. Direct reaction of alkaline formaldehyde with the enzymes and the formation of intermolecular cross-linkage between alkaline formaldehyde and the outer cell wall were highly possible.

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Accession: 005239990

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