1. Turkey liver xanthine dehydrogenase engaged in catalysing the oxidation of xanthine by dichlorophenol–indophenol was progressively inactivated by methanol. This inactivation was reversible by NAD+. 2. Reaction with arsenite and with cyanide, in each case first-order with respect to enzyme, resulted in characteristic alterations in the visible absorption spectrum of the enzyme. The rate of spectral change on reaction with either agent paralleled the rate of loss of enzyme activity. 3. Cyanide inactivation was accompanied by elimination from the enzyme of sulphur as thiocyanate. Partial restoration of activity was effected by incubation with sulphide or with selenide. The results suggest that turkey liver xanthine dehydrogenase, like milk xanthine oxidase (Massey & Edmonson, 1970), contains at the active centre a cyanolysable persulphide group essential to catalytic activity and that selenium may replace sulphur in this group to give an active enzyme. 4. Incubation of the native enzyme with sulphide or with selenide resulted in the rapid loss of half of the xanthine-oxidizing activity, apparently by disrupting the molybdenum and (Fe/S)II loci. This may indicate non-equivalence of the intramolecular electron-transfer systems.

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