The activities of two lipogenic enzymes, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase, were determined in two transplantable mammary adenocarcinomas (13762 and R3230AC) carried by non-pregnant, pregnant and lactating rats, and in mammary tissue of control animals (non-tumour-carrying) of comparable physiological states. During mammary-gland differentiation of control or tumour-carrying animals, the activities of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase in the lactating gland increased by about 40-50-fold over the values found in non-pregnant animals. On the other hand, in tumours carried by lactating dams there were only modest increases (1.5-2-fold) in acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase compared with the neoplasms carried by non-pregnant animals. On the basis of the Km values for different substrates and immunodiffusion and immunotitration data, the fatty acid synthase of neoplastic tissues appeared to be indistinguishable from the control mammary-gland enzyme. However, a comparison of the immunotitration and immunodiffusion experiments indicated that the mammary-gland acetyl-CoA carboxylase might differ from the enzyme present in mammary neoplasms.
A simple procedure was devised which allows purification of rat lactating-mammary-gland fatty acid synthase to a high degree of purity, with recoveries of activity exceeding 50%. Over 50 mg of enzyme was isolated from 60 g of mammary tissue. The specific activity of the purified enzyme was about 2.5 mumol of NADPH oxidized/min per mg of protein at 37 degrees. The enzyme appeared homogeneous by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis and by immunodiffusion analysis. Each mol (Mr 480 000) of the enzyme bound 3 mol of acetyl and 3-4 mol of malonyl groups when the binding experiments were performed at 0 degrees for 30 s. The presence of NADPH did not influence the binding stoicheiometry for these acyl-CoA derivatives. Approx. 2 mol of taurine was found per mol of the performic acid-oxidized enzyme, suggesting that there were 2 mol of 4′-phosphopantetheine in the native enzyme. Rat mammary-gland fatty acid synthase required free CoA for activity.