A new non-functional modified form of milk xanthine oxidase is described. This contains molybdenum in a quinquivalent state, which is resistant to both oxidation and reduction. The new species is derived from the native enzyme in a two-step process. The first step is the conversion into the desulpho form, via loss of the ‘persulphide’ sulphur, and the second involves reaction with ethylene glycol or other reagents. The species gives a characteristic Mo(V) electron-paramagnetic-resonance signal, without proton splittings, designated Resting II. This is virtually identical with signals reported previously from resting turkey liver xanthine dehydrogenase and rabbit liver aldehyde oxidase. The possibility is discussed that species Resting II, prepared with ethylene glycol, contains a -COCH2OH residue bound to a nitrogen ligand of molybdenum.

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