1. The molecular mass of aspartate transcarbamoylase purified from wheat germ was found to be 101kDa by sucrose-density-gradient centrifugation, 103kDa by gel-filtration chromatography and 108kDa by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. A mean value of 104 +/- 11kDa was obtained by pooling several replicate results from each method. 2. Polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulphate indicated a single size of polypeptide chain of mean molecular mass 37 +/- 4kDa. The ratio of the mean molecular masses of the active and denatured enzymes is 2.8.3. When the active enzyme was covalently cross-linked at a low protein concentration by dimethyl suberimidate, and then examined electrophoretically under denaturing conditions, three size species were observed to predominate, of apparent molecular masses 36, 77 and 106kDa respectively. 4. These results indicate that the intact, fully regulatory enzyme is a simple trimer, slightly larger than the trimeric ‘catalytic subunit’ of the aspartate transcarbamoylase from Escherichia coli [Weber (1968) Nature (London) 218, 1116-1118]. The prevalence of trimeric structures amongst carbamoyl-transferase enzymes is discussed.

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