Pseudo-cholinesterase in Rat Erythrocytes


ALTHOUGH there are many references in the literature to the existence of different types of cholinesterase in mammalian sera1, it is generally believed that human red cells contain only one type2. Furthermore, we can find no evidence in the literature for the existence of a pseudo-cholinesterase in any mammalian erythrocytes, although many workers have stated that benzoylcholine is hydrolysed by red cells. Since, however, the rate of hydrolysis is slow, this breakdown of a substrate formerly presumed to be specific for pseudo-cholinesterase has been attributed to true cholinesterase. Indeed, Adams3 has shown that purified true cholinesterase does hydrolyse benzoylcholine, at a rate which would account for such observations. In spite of this, some results obtained by Fraser with benzoylcholine4 imply the existence of more than one type of cholinesterase in red cells.

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  1. 1

    Mundell, D. B., Nature, 153, 557 (1944). Ellis, S., Sanders, S., and Bodansky, O., J. Pharmacol., 91, 225 (1947). Levine, M. G., and Suran, A. A., Enzymologia, 15, 17 (1951).

  2. 2

    Mendell, B., Mundell, D. B., and Rudney, H., Biochem. J., 37, 473 (1943).

  3. 3

    Adams, D. H., Biochim. Biophys. Ada., 3, 1 (1949).

  4. 4

    Fraser, P. J., thesis, University of Birmingham (1951), and private communication (1956).

  5. 5

    Aldridge, W. N., Biochem. J., 53, 62 (1953). Austin, L., and Berry, W. K., Biochem. J., 54, 695 (1953).

  6. 6

    Bayliss, B. J., and Todrick, A., Biochem. J., 62, 62 (1956).

  7. 7

    Sawyer, C. H., Science, 101, 385 (1945).

  8. 8

    Ord, M. G., and Thompson, R. H. S., Biochem. J., 49, 191 (1951).

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