A simple method for isolation of kallikrein from human plasma is described. Before activation of the enzyme with acetone, the plasma was treated with 0.2 M-methylamine at pH 8.2 to inactivate alpha 2-macroglobulin and thus prevent the irreversible binding of the active enzyme to the inhibitor. The enzyme was adsorbed on soya-bean trypsin inhibitor-Sepharose 4B and eluted with 5 mM-NaOH, pH 11.3. It was further purified by immunoadsorption of contaminating proteins, and gel chromatography on Ultrogel AcA 44. About 3 mg of kallikrein was obtained from 400 ml of plasma (35% yield). The purified enzyme was shown to be homogeneous by electrophoretic and immunological criteria. The specific activities against benzyloxycarbonylphenylalanylarginine methylcoumarylamide, prolylphenylalanylarginine methylcoumarylamide and tosylarginine methyl ester were higher than any previously reported. The purified enzyme was resolved into two forms of mol.wts. 88 000 and 86 000 in sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis without reduction. Each consisted of three chains linked by disulphide bonds, one containing the reactive serine residue (mol.wt. 36 000 or 34 000), and two additional chains (mol.wt. 28 000 and 22 000).

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