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Plasma arginine esterase activity in cystic fibrosis of the pancreas Chan, Katherine Yuet-Ha


Using a micro-method for 'the determination of plasma arginine esterase activity, the values for soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI)-inhibited arginine esterase activity in patients with cystic fibrosis, obligate heterozygotes and age matched control individuals have been investigated. The mean of STI-inhibited activity was lowest for cystic fibrosis patients while the mean for normal controls was the highest, The mean of STI-inhibited activity for the heterozygotes was midway, between the values of the patients and the normal individuals. The deficiency of arginine esterase activity was statistically, significant for both cystic fibrosis patients and heterozygotes. By ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sephadex, arginine esterase activity in chloroform-ellagic acid treated plasma from cystic fibrosis patients and control subjects has been resolved into two component fractions. The smaller peak of activity was eluted at approximately 0.02 M NaCl while the bulk of the activity was. eluted at an NaCl concentration of 0.15 M. Similar elution patterns were obtained in both cases of control and cystic fibrosis plasma, though a. reduction in size of the two activity peaks was observed in cystic fibrosis plasma. No iso-enzyme deficiency was detect using anion-exchange chromatography. Hence, the deficiency of arginine esterase activity in the cystic fibrosis plasma was apparently entirely quantitative rather than qualitative.

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