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The esterase-like activity of serum albumin may be due to cholinesterase contamination

Chapuis, N.
Bruhlmann, C.
Reist, Marianne
Mayer, J. M.
Testa, Bernard
Published in Pharmaceutical Research. 2001, vol. 18, no. 10, p. 1435-1439
Abstract PURPOSE: The "esterase-like activity" of human serum albumin (HSA) is described in the literature, but a contamination of commercially available HSA preparations by plasma cholinesterase is conceivable in some cases. The purpose of the present work was to examine this hypothesis. METHODS: The hydrolytic activity of HSA and its inhibition by physostigmine were measured fluorimetrically by monitoring the hydrolysis of the ester substrate moxisylyte. Affinity chromatography was used to separate cholinesterase and HSA. The cholinesterase activity in the eluted fractions was assessed using Ellman's reagent and butyrylthiocholine as substrate. RESULTS: A significant variation in the esterase-like activity of different albumin batches was observed. This activity was strongly inhibited by physostigmine, a well-known inhibitor of cholinesterase. Affinity chromatography led to a complete separation between HSA and the esterase activity, which was found exclusively in the cholinesterase fraction. CONCLUSIONS: The apparent esterase-like activity of HSA toward moxisylyte and butyrylthiocholine was due to a contamination by cholinesterase. With these substrates, HSA showed a total lack of esterase-like activity.
Keywords Butyrylcholinesterase/metabolismCholinesterase Inhibitors/pharmacologyCholinesterases/*chemistry/*metabolismChromatography, AffinityDrug ContaminationEsterases/*chemistry/*metabolismFatty Acids, Nonesterified/metabolismFluorometryHumansHydrolysisMoxisylyte/chemistryPhysostigmine/pharmacologySerum Albumin/*chemistry/*metabolismUltrafiltration
PMID: 11697469
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CHAPUIS, N. et al. The esterase-like activity of serum albumin may be due to cholinesterase contamination. In: Pharmaceutical Research, 2001, vol. 18, n° 10, p. 1435-1439.

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Deposited on : 2010-08-06

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