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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Detection of alpha-amylase activity in unprocessed preamylase produced in the cell-free translation of porcine pancreatic RNA.

Preamylases, synthesized in the RNA-dependent rabbit reticulocyte lysate translation system supplemented with porcine pancreatic RNA were identified by their specific immunoprecipitation with anti-amylase. The preamylases have apparent Mr = 55,000 and 58,000 as compared to 52,000 and 55,000 for the purified, secreted alpha-amylase isozymes. In order to establish whether the unprocessed precursors may assume enzymatically active conformations, we have explored a highly sensitive activity gel electrophoresis technique, by which picogram quantities of enzyme can be detected. When standard alpha-amylase and translation products are subjected to electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gel containing 0.01% starch and CaCl2, active amylase which binds tightly to starch can only migrate as the starch is hydrolyzed. When the gel is subsequently stained with I2, the appearance of clear tracks, the lengths of which are roughly proportional to the logarithm of amylase concentration, signifies the presence of amylase activity. By this approach, we were able to detect amylase activity in a range corresponding to about 100 pg of pure amylase/10 microliters of translation mixture. This value agrees well with an estimate from radioactivity incorporation of total preamylase in the translation mixture, and we consequently conclude that unprocessed preamylase can assume the appropriate conformation to give enzymatic activity.[1]


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