The effects of surfactants on the human liver hexosaminidase A-catalysed hydrolysis of Gm2 ganglioside were assessed. Some non-ionic surfactants, including Triton X-100 and Cutscum, and some anionic surfactants, including sodium taurocholate, sodium dodecyl sulphate, phosphatidylinositol and N-dodecylsarcosinate, were able to replace the hexosaminidase A-activator protein [Hechtman (1977) Can. J. Biochem.55, 315–324; Hechtman & Leblanc (1977) Biochem. J.167, 693–701) and also stimulated the enzymic hydrolysis of substrate in the presence of saturating concentrations of activator. Other non-ionic surfactants, such as Tween 80, Brij 35 and Nonidet P40, and anionic surfactants, such as phosphatidylethanolamine, did not enhance enzymic hydrolysis of Gm2 ganglioside and inhibited hydrolysis in the presence of activator. The concentration of surfactants at which micelles form was determined by measurements of the minimum surface-tension values of reaction mixtures containing a series of concentrations of surfactant. In the case of Triton X-100, Cutscum, sodium taurocholate, N-dodecylsarcosinate and other surfactants the concentration range at which stimulation of enzymic activity occurs correlates well with the critical micellar concentration. None of the surfactants tested affected the rate of hexosaminidase A-catalysed hydrolysis of 4-methylumbelliferyl N-acetyl-β-d-glucopyranoside. Both activator and surfactants that stimulate hydrolysis of Gm2 ganglioside decrease the Km for Gm2 ganglioside. Inhibitory surfactants are competitive with the activator protein. Evidence for a direct interaction between surfactants and Gm2 ganglioside was obtained by comparing gel-filtration profiles of 3H-labelled GM2 ganglioside in the presence and absence of surfactants. The results are discussed in terms of a model wherein a mixed micelle of surfactant or activator and GM2 ganglioside is the preferred substrate for enzymic hydrolysis.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.