Localization of alpha-glucosidases I, II, and III in organs of European honeybees, Apis mellifera L., and the origin of alpha-glucosidase in honey

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004 Nov;68(11):2346-52. doi: 10.1271/bbb.68.2346.


Three kinds of alpha-glucosidases, I, II, and III, were purified from European honeybees, Apis mellifera L. In addition, an alpha-glucosidase was also purified from honey. Some properties, including the substrate specificity of honey alpha-glucosidase, were almost the same as those of alpha-glucosidase III. Specific antisera against the alpha-glucosidases were prepared to examine the localization of alpha-glucosidases in the organs of honeybees. It was immunologically confirmed for the first time that alpha-glucosidase I was present in ventriculus, and alpha-glucosidase II, in ventriculus and haemolymph. alpha-Glucosidase III, which became apparent to be honey alpha-glucosidase, was present in the hypopharyngeal gland, from which the enzyme may be secreted into nectar gathered by honeybees. Honey may be finally made up through the process whereby sucrose in nectar, in which glucose and fructose also are naturally contained, is hydrolyzed by secreted alpha-glucosidase III.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Ammonium Sulfate
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / isolation & purification
  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Bees / enzymology*
  • Chromatography
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Exocrine Glands / enzymology
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Honey / analysis*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Immunochemistry
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Maltose / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rabbits
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Temperature
  • alpha-Glucosidases / chemistry
  • alpha-Glucosidases / metabolism*


  • Antibodies
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Isoenzymes
  • Maltose
  • alpha-Glucosidases
  • Ammonium Sulfate