Summary. The activity of lactate dehydrogenase (EC 22.214.171.124) in normal human sperm lysates and in human heart and liver homogenates was determined by using a variety of 2-oxoacids as substrates. Sperm preparations were active with pyruvate, 2-oxobutanoate, 2-oxopentanoate and 2-oxohexanoate, while heart and liver extracts utilized only pyruvate and 2-oxobutanoate. Selective staining after gel electrophoresis indicated that the fraction corresponding to lactate dehydrogenase C4, the sperm-specific isoenzyme, was responsible for the utilization of substrates with a linear chain of 3 to 6 carbon atoms. The use of 5 mM 2-oxohexanoate allowed the selective determination of isoenzyme C4 in preparations containing different lactate dehydrogenase molecular forms.
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