The effect of incubation conditions on the enzyme kinetics of udp-glucuronosyltransferases.
Bilirubin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UDPGT) activity in sealed hepatic microsomes from clofibrate-treated rats was highly latent and was fully expressed by disruption of vesicles with detergents. Antibodies raised against purified bilirubin UDPGT were used to study the transmembrane orientation of the protein to provide a molecular understanding of the UDPGT latency. Immunoblot analysis of sealed microsomes, and microsomes after treatment with proteinases, showed that only a small portion of the protein resides on the cytoplasmic side of the microsomal vesicles. Treatment of microsomes with sodium deoxycholate allowed subtilisin and proteinase K to cleave the transferase, causing loss of activity and the release of smaller immunodetectable peptides. Treatment of the purified bilirubin UDPGT with peptide N-glycosidase F indicated that the enzyme was a glycoprotein. A working model of the transmembrane topology of bilirubin UDPGT is described.