Antibodies to pure lysyl hydroxylase from whole chick embryos were prepared in rabbits and used for immunological characterization of this enzyme of collagen biosynthesis. In double immunodiffusion a single precipitation line was seen between the antiserum and crude or pure chick-embryo lysyl hydroxylase. The antiserum effectively inhibited chick-embryo lysyl hydroxylase activity, whether measured with the biologically prepared protocollagen substrate or a synthetic peptide consisting of only 12 amino acids. This suggests that the antigenic determinant was located near the active site of the enzyme molecule. Essentially identical amounts of the antiserum were required for 40% inhibition of the same amount of lysyl hydroxylase activity units from different chick-embryo tissues synthesizing various genetically distinct collagen types. In double immunodiffusion a single precipitation line of complete identity was found between the antiserum and the purified enzyme from whole chick embryos and the crude enzymes from chick-embryo tendon, cartilage and kidneys. These results do not support the hypothesis that lysyl hydroxylase has collagen-type-specific or tissue-specific isoenzymes with markedly different specific activities or immunological properties. The antibodies to chick-embryo lysyl hydroxylase showed a considerable degree of species specificity when examined either by activity-inhibition assay or by double immuno-diffusion. Nevertheless, a distinct, although weak, cross-reactivity was found between the chick-embryo enzyme and those from all mammalian tissues tested. The antiserum showed no cross-reactivity against prolyl 3-hydroxylase, hydroxylysyl galactosyl-transferase or galactosylhydroxylysyl glucosyltransferase in activity-inhibition assays, whereas a distinct cross-reactivity was found against prolyl 4-hydroxylase. Furthermore, antiserum to pure prolyl 4-hydroxylase inhibited lysyl hydroxylase activity. These findings suggest that there are structural similarities between these two enzymes, possibly close to or at their active sites.

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