Author(s): Walker CH, Mackness MI
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Esterases which can hydrolyse organophosphates without being inhibited by them are termed "A" esterases. Using paraoxon and pirimiphos-methyl oxon as substrates, high "A" esterase activity is found in the liver and plasma or serum of a range of mammalian species. In a study of serum "A" esterases of sheep and humans, over 80\% of the activity separated into the high density lipoprotein (HDL) fraction following ultracentrifugation. When HDL fractions from sheep serum were run on Sepharose gel columns, most of the paraoxonase activity separated as a single peak of estimated molecular weight 360,000, which corresponds to that of HDL2 of humans. During the course of purification of "A" esterases by three different column procedures, contrasting esterase elution profiles were obtained with organophosphate and pyrethroid substrates. This was strong evidence for the existence of multiple forms of HDL "A" esterases. Levels of "A" esterase activity in plasma and liver of birds were much lower than those of mammals. This appears to be the main reason why birds are much more susceptible than mammals to organophosphates such as pirimiphos-methyl and diazinon which form active oxons that are good substrates for mammalian "A" esterases. No "A" esterase was detected in strains of rust red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) which were resistant to organophosphates. Similar observations have been made with strains of other insects resistant to organophosphates, raising the question to what extent esterases of this type are present in insects.
This article was published in Arch Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism