Genetics of the mammalian phenylalanine hydroxylase system

K. H. Choo, G. H. Cotton, D. M. Danks, I. G. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Phenylalanine hydroxylase was purified from crude extracts of human livers which show enzyme activity by using two different methods: (a) affinity chromatography and (b) immunoprecipitation with an antiserum against highly purified monkey liver phenylalanine hydroxylase. Purified human liver phenylalanine hydroxylase has an estimated mol. wt. of 275,000, an subunit mol. wts. of approx. 50,000 and 49,000. These two molecular-weight forms are designated H and L subunits. On two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel under dissociating conditions, enzyme purified by the two methods revealed at least six subunit species, which were resolved into two size classes. Two of these species have a molecular weight corresponding to that of the H subunit, whereas the other four have a molecular weight corresponding to that of the L subunit. This evidence indicates that active phenylalanine hydroxylase purified from human liver is composed of a mixture of subunits which are different in charge and size. None of the subunit species could be detected in crude extracts of livers from two patients with classical phenylketonuria by either the affinity or the immunoprecipitation method. However, they were present in liver from a patient with malignant hyperphenylalaninaemia with normal activity of dihydropteridine reductase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1979
Externally publishedYes

Cite this