1. A technique is described for the removal of subcellular contaminants from intact rat intestinal brush borders, and for the subsequent separation of a microvillus membrane fraction from a fibrillar residue. 2. Increments in invertase activity, microscopic homogeneity and low nucleic acid content indicate that the microvillus plasma membrane has been extensively purified. Multiple membrane preparations have been shown to be highly reproducible with respect to their invertase specific activity, cholesterol content and phospholipid content. Alkaline phosphatase, leucine aminopeptidase, Mg2+- and Ca2+-dependent adenosine triphosphatase and seven separate disaccharidases were shown to be predominantly confined to the membrane fraction. 3. The fibrillar fraction has been shown to contain approximately 30% of the total protein of purified brush borders, plus most of the residual nucleic acid contaminant. No evidence was found for the localization of any specific enzyme in this fraction.
- © 1968 The Biochemical Society