The pattern of solubilization of nine kidney microvillar ectoenzymes by a range of detergents distinguished two classes of membrane proteins: those released from the membrane by bacterial phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C and those not so released. The latter group of transmembrane proteins were solubilized efficiently (greater than 80%) by all the detergents examined. In contrast, proteins released by phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C were solubilized effectively only by octyl glucoside, 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulphonate and sodium deoxycholate. Octyl glucoside solubilized the amphipathic forms of the ectoenzymes examined, suggesting that this may be a useful detergent in the purification of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored ectoenzymes.

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