Characterization of human foetal intestinal alkaline phosphatase. Comparison with the isoenzymes from the adult intestine and human tumour cell lines

C. M. Behrens, C. A. Enns, H. H. Sussman

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28 Scopus citations


The molecular structure of human foetal intestinal alkaline phosphatase was defined by high-resolution two-dimensional polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis and amino acid inhibition studies. Comparison was made with the adult form of intestinal alkaline phosphatase, as well as with alkaline phosphatases isolated from cultured foetal amnion cells (FL) and a human tumour cell line (KB). Two non-identical subunits were isolated from the foetal intestinal isoenzyme, one having the same molecular weight and isoelectric point as placental alkaline phosphatase, and the other corresponding to a glycosylated subunit of the adult intestinal enzyme. The FL-cell and KB-cell alkaline phosphatases were also found to contain two subunits similar to those of the foetal intestinal isoenzyme. Characterization of neuraminidase digests of the non-placental subunit showed it to be indistinguishable from the subunits of the adult intestinal isoenzyme. This implies that no new phosphatase structural gene is involved in the transition from the expression of foetal to adult intestinal alkaline phosphatase, but that the molecular changes involve suppression of the placental subunit and loss of neuraminic acid from the non-placental subunit. Enzyme-inhibition studies demonstrated an intermediate response to the inhibitors tested for the foetal intestinal, FL-cell and KB-cell isoenzymes when compared with the placental, adult intestinal and liver forms. This result is consistent with the mixed-subunit structure observed for the former set of isoenzymes. In summary, this study has defined the molecular subunit structure of the foetal intestinal form of alkaline phosphatase and has demonstrated its expression in a human tumour cell line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-558
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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