1. The bilirubin UDP-glucuronyltransferase assay described by Van Roy & Heirwegh (1968) has been improved. 2. Extraction of final azo-derivatives is rendered more simple and efficient by thorough emulsification and by cooling. 3. Pretreatment of homogenates and cell fractions with digitonin increases the sensitivity of the assays and gives less variable results than those with untreated preparations. The activation procedure is flexible. 4. Blank values (obtained from incubation mixtures from which activating bivalent metal ion and UDP-glucuronic acid were omitted) are low. No endogenous conjugate formation could be detected except with untreated, fresh liver homogenates. Control incubation mixtures containing the latter preparations are preferably kept at 0°C. 5. With activated microsomal preparations, rates of breakdown of UDP-glucuronic acid (as monitored by release of Pi) were low. Little if any increase in enzyme activity was found when UDP-N-acetylglucosamine was included in the incubation mixtures. 6. Slight deviation from Michaelis–Menten kinetics with respect to bilirubin observed at low substrate concentrations is probably related to the use of binding protein in the assay mixtures. Michaelis–Menten kinetics were followed with respect to UDP-glucuronic acid. Part of the enzyme in microsomal preparations from rat liver functioned independently of added bivalent metal ions. Mn2+ was slightly more, and Ca2+ somewhat less, stimulatory than Mg2+. The Mg2+-dependent fraction showed Michaelis–Menten kinetics with respect to the added Mg2+. 7. The enzyme activities found were higher than values reported in the literature for untreated or purified preparations from rat liver. They were above reported values of the maximal biliary excretion rate of bilirubin.
Assay and properties of digitonin-activated bilirubin uridine diphosphate glucuronyltransferase from rat liver
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K. P. M. Heirwegh, M. Van De Vijver, J. Fevery; Assay and properties of digitonin-activated bilirubin uridine diphosphate glucuronyltransferase from rat liver. Biochem J 1 September 1972; 129 (3): 605–618. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj1290605
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