gamma-Butyrobetaine hydroxylase [4-trimethylaminobutyrate, 2-oxoglutarate:oxygen oxidoreductase (3-hydroxylating), EC] from human kidney was resolved into three forms by chromatofocusing. After further chromatography on an anion-exchanger, each form appeared as a single band on electrophoresis in polyacrylamide gel containing sodium dodecyl sulphate. The isoelectric points of isoenzymes 1, 2 and 3 were 5.6, 5.7 and 5.8 respectively, as estimated by isoelectric focusing. Their specific activities were 17-29 mu kat/g of protein. The concentrations of the three isoenzymes were about equal, possibly slightly lower for isoenzyme 1. The requirement for Fe2+ and the Km values for gamma-butyrobetaine and 2-oxoglutarate were about the same for the different enzyme forms. L- and D-Carnitine caused decarboxylation of 2-oxoglutarate to the same extent (8 and 29%) with the three forms. The enzyme forms had the same mass, 64 kDa, as determined by gel filtration in nondenaturing media. The same subunit mass, 42 kDa, was obtained for the multiple forms by electrophoresis in polyacrylamide gels containing sodium dodecyl sulphate. Isoenzyme 2 was resolved into two protein bands by isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gels containing urea. Isoenzyme 1 contained only one of these bands and isoenzyme 3 the other. The three enzyme forms of gamma-butyrobetaine hydroxylase thus appear to be dimeric combinations of two subunits differing in charge but not in size. gamma-Butyrobetaine hydroxylase from crude extracts of human, rat and calf liver was also separated into multiple forms by a chromatofocusing technique. The isoenzyme pattern was the same in human liver and kidney. The technique used to resolve the mammalian enzymes gave no evidence for the presence of multiple forms of the bacterial enzyme from Pseudomonas sp. AK 1.

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