Enzymically active intestinal alkaline phosphatase exists in both soluble and membrane-bound forms in the suckling rat. Antiserum prepared against purified soluble alkaline phosphatase (anti-AlP) was shown to be monospecific when assessed by Ouchterlony double-diffusion analysis and immunoelectrophoresis. The two forms of alkaline phosphatase were antigenically identical and possessed similar affinities for anti-AlP. To study the biosynthesis of the two forms, 14-day-old rats were injected intraperitoneally with [3H]leucine. The labelling kinetics of alkaline phosphatase, extracted from supernatant and brush-border membrane fractions with anti-AlP, was followed over 20h. Incorporation of [3H]leucine into membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase was rapid, reaching a plateau at 6h. The soluble enzyme showed slower incorporation of label and maximal radioactivity was not reached until 12h after labelling, a lag of 6h behind the membrane-bound enzyme. Soluble alkaline phosphatase could not have been a precursor of the membrane form, as there was no early peak of radioactivity in the soluble form. To determine if the soluble enzyme was irreversibly derived from the membrane enzyme, a newly developed technique of labelling brush-border membrane proteins in vivo by intraluminal injection of diazotized [125I]iodosulphanilic acid was used. The appearance of 125I in soluble and membrane alkaline phosphatase was then monitored over a 7h period, encompassing the lag between maximal leucine labelling of the two forms. The results failed to show either a proportional transfer of radioactivity from membrane to soluble alkaline phosphatase or an absolute increase in radioactivity of the soluble form during degradation of brush-border alkaline phosphatase. Therefore there does not appear to be a serial precursor/product relationship between the soluble and membrane-bound forms of suckling-rat intestinal alkaline phosphatase.

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