The following three potent inhibitors of hepatocytic proteolysis were investigated to see if they would inhibit the intracellular inactivation of enzymes: chymostatin and leupeptin (proteinase inhibitors) and methylamine (a lysosomotropic weak base). Chymostatin inhibited the inactivation of two of the three enzymes tested: tyrosine aminotransferase (EC 2.6.1.5) and tryptophan oxygenase (tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase, EC 1.13.11.11). Leupeptin had no effect on any of the enzymes, whereas methylamine had only a weak inhibitory effect on tyrosine aminotransferase inactivation. Apparently proteolytic cleavage (probably by a non-lysosomal proteinase, since only chymostatin is effective) is involved in the inactivation of tyrosine aminotransferase and tryptophan oxygenase. The third enzyme, benzopyrene hydroxylase (flavoprotein-linked mono-oxygenase, EC 1.14.14.1), is probably inactivated by a non-proteolytic mechanism.

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