The distribution of the two principal isoenzymes of aldehyde reductase (EC 1.1.1.2) has been studied in ox brain. The more active of these, which has been termed the high-Km enzyme, has been shown to be located in the cytosol and the less abundant low-Km form has a similar localization. p-Nitrobenzaldehyde, which has been used as a substrate in previous studies, caused the reduction of NADH in the presence of the mitochondrial fraction, but mixed substrate experiments with 1,3-dinitrobenzene and the effects of pH on the activity indicate that this is due to the presence of a nitro reductase activity which has been recently described (Köchli, Wermuth & von Wartburg (1980) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 616, 133-142] rather than to the low-Km aldehyde reductase activity. Fractionation of the mitochondria indicated this activity to be largely confined to the mitochondrial inner membrane.

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