1. Alkaline phosphatase of human placenta was purified by a procedure involving homogenization with tris buffer, pH8·6, extraction with butanol, ammonium sulphate fractionation, exposure to heat, ethanol fractionation, gel filtration, triethylaminoethylcellulose anion-exchange chromatography, continuous curtain electrophoresis on paper and equilibrium dialysis. Methods for both laboratory-scale and large-scale preparation were devised. 2. Two major molecular-weight variants designated A and B were separated by molecular sieving with Sephadex G-200 and variant A was purified 4000-fold. 3. Variant B, which comes off the Sephadex G-200 column before variant A, is the electrophoretically slower-moving species on starch gel and is quite heterogeneous. 4. Purified variant A was fairly homogeneous on the basis of electrophoretic studies on starch gel and Sephadex gel, ultracentrifugation and immunodiffusion. 5. The respective molecular weights for variants A and B were 70000 and over 200000 on the basis of sucrose-density-gradient ultracentrifugation. Variant A exhibited a sedimentation coefficient of 4·2s. 6. Crystalline variant B could be converted into fast-moving variant A and vice versa. 7. Kinetic studies indicated no difference between the two variants. These include linear rates of hydrolysis, pH optimum, Michaelis constants and uncompetitive stereospecific l-phenylalanine inhibition. 8. The amino acid compositions of variants A and B and of placental albumin were determined.

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