Gunn rats are a mutant strain of Wistar rats that have unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia due to absence of hepatic uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UDPGT; EC.188.8.131.52) activity toward bilirubin. We isolated five UDPGT isoforms from solubilized microsomal fractions from liver of inbred Wistar (RHA) rats and congeneic Gunn rats. UDPGT isoform V (elution pH 7.5) from Wistar (RHA) rats is active toward bilirubin and 4'-hydroxydimethylaminoazobenzene. The corresponding isoform from Gunn rat liver was enzymically inactive but exhibited normal elution pH and mobility on NaDodSO4/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (M(r) 53,000), and was recognized by a UDPGT-specific antiserum. UDPGT isoform I (elution pH 8.7) from Wistar (RHA) and Gunn rats was active toward 4-nitrophenol. The isoform from Gunn rat liver had only 10% of normal UDPGT activity, however UDPGT activity increased to normal upon addition of 15 mM diethylnitrosamine in vitro. Isoforms II (elution pH 8.4), III (elution pH 8.0), and IV (elution pH 7.8) from Gunn rats had normal UDPGT activities, except that isoform IV was inactive toward bilirubin.
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