Purification of rat-liver microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase. Separation of two enzyme forms inducible by 3-methylcholanthrene or phenobarbital

Eur J Biochem. 1979 Jul;98(1):19-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1979.tb13155.x.


Glucuronidation reactions catalysed by rat liver microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase are differentially inducible by 3-methylcholanthrene and phenobarbital. To elucidate the molecular basis of this functional heterogeneity the enzyme was purified from livers of rats pretreated with the inducing agents. Using cholate solubilization, chromatography on Bio-Gel A-1.5m and on DEAE-cellulose in the presence of the nonionic detergent Brij 58, two enzyme forms could be separated. Both forms were subsequently purified to apparent homogeneity by affinity chromatography on UDP-hexanolamine Sepharose 4B, 3-Methylcholanthrene-inducible enzyme activity towards 1-naphthol, 4-nitrophenol, 3-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene and N-hydroxy-2-naphthylamine copurified with one enzyme form (enzyme 1). In contrast phenobarbital-inducible enzyme activity towards morphine, chloramphenicol and 4-hydroxybiphenyl was associated with the other enzyme fraction (enzyme 2). Sodium dodecylsulfate/polyacrylamide gels showed similar molecular weights of 54000 for enzyme 1 and 56000 for enzyme 2. The results suggest the presence of at least two forms of UDP-glucuronyltransferase in rat liver. Factors affecting enzyme activity in purified and membrane-bound states are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / isolation & purification*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Methylcholanthrene / pharmacology*
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phenobarbital / pharmacology*
  • Rats


  • Methylcholanthrene
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • Phenobarbital