Five alpha-galactosidases (alpha-D-galactoside galactohydrolase, EC 3.2.1.22) were identified by chromatography and by their different electrophoretic mobilities, in the germinated seeds of Trifolium repens (white clover). alpha-Galactosidases II, III and IV were purified to homogeneity, with increases in specific activity of approx. 4600-, 4900- and 2800-fold respectively. The enzymes were purified by a procedure that included (NH4)2SO4 precipitation, hydroxyapatite, Sephadex G-75 and DEAE-cellulose chromatography, and preparative polyacrylamide-gel disc electrophoresis. The purified enzymes showed a single protein band, corresponding to the alpha-galactosidase activity, when examined by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. The pH optimum was determined with o-nitrophenyl alpha-D-galactoside and the galactomannan of T. repens To as substrate. All three enzymes are highly thermolabile. Hydrolysis of oligosaccharides and galactomannans was examined, including two galactomannans from the germinated seed of T. repens (T24 and T36). By sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis the mol.wts. of the multiple forms of enzyme were found to be identical (41 000).

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