1. Acid and alkaline protease activities in bovine anterior and posterior pituitary lobes were reinvestigated by measurement of u.v. and Folin–Ciocalteu colour values of trichloroacetic acid-soluble digestion products of denatured haemoglobin. 2. Both lobes of the pituitary gland contain a cathepsin with a pH optimum at 3.8. 3. When release of u.v.-absorbing material was used as the assay there was also an optimum at pH8.3–9.7, but this proved to be due to the release of nucleosides from an endogenous substrate. 4. The presence of a `cyclizing' ribonuclease active at alkaline pH on endogenous RNA was confirmed by the inhibitory effects of phosphate, arsenate and bentonite. The activity was unaffected by heat, EDTA or metal ions. The enzyme also acted on exogenous RNA. 5. A purified preparation of neurosecretory granules from fresh bovine posterior pituitary lobes was free from alkaline ribonuclease activity. Most of the activity present in the tissue was recovered in the supernatant plus microsomal material. 6. The distribution of RNA did not follow that of the alkaline ribonuclease.
- © 1971 London: The Biochemical Society