Evidence for a striking increase in acetylcholinesterase activity in cultured human fibroblasts which are trisomic for chromosome two.
Acetylcholinesterase (AchE) is reported to have a narrowly restricted distribution among human tissues. Three strains of human fibroblasts which are trisomic for chromosome 2 had an average level of AchE activity over 28 times higher than the average level in 19 control strains of human fibroblasts. In contrast, the mean pseudocholinesterase activity of the trisomy-2 strains did not differ appreciably, or significantly, from the mean for the control strains. The 19 control strains included 10 strains trisomic for autosomes other than 2, and 9 euploid strains. Our estimate of the mean AchE activity in the control strains did not differ significantly from zero and might, in any case, have originated from a minute amount of activity contributed to the cells by an esterase in our culture medium. Despite the striking elevation of AchE activity in fibroblasts trisomic for chromosome 2, extracts of these cells had only about 1.5% of the specific AchE activity (per microgram DNA) present in extracts of human cerebral cortex. None of the 22 strains studied had detectable activity for two other enzymes which, like AchE, have a restricted distribution among human tissues: xanthine oxidase and choline acetyltransferase.
Chen, YT; Worthy, TE; Krooth, RS
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