Biochemical properties of big renin extracted from human plasma

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
R P Day, J A Luetscher


The properties of big renin, a relatively inactive form of renin isolated from human plasma, were examined following partial purification by gel filtration. Exposure of big renin to pH 3.0-3.6, or brief incubation with trypsin or pepsin, resulted in a ten-fold increase in enzymatic activity. Activation was not effected by 4M NaCl, 6M urea, or incubation with neuraminidase. Both before and after inactivation, big renin eluted from Sephadex gel more rapidly than normal plasma renin. During polyacrylamide gel disc electrophoresis, inactive big renin migrated more slowly than either normal renin or big renin previously activated. Using sheep substrate, the enzyme kinetics of normal renin and previously activated big renin were identical, while inactive big renin possessed a higher Michaelis constant. These data indicate that big renin is closely related biochemically to normal plasma renin. As the activation of big renin results in the formation of the substance even more similar to normal renin, the possibility exists that big renin may prove to be a precursor form of normal renin.


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