he enzymatic activity (expressed as milliunits per milligram total proteins) of three intestinal brush-border membrane enzymes, leucine aminopeptidase, alkaline phosphatase and maltase, measured over a range of temperatures between 1.5 and 37-degrees-C, has been found to be much higher in the Antarctic fish Pagothenia bernacchii than in the temperate fish Anguilla anguilla. To explain this experimental observation the apparent Michaelis-Menten constant, the maximal velocity, the activation energy values and the thermal stability of these three enzymes were measured. The apparent Michaelis-Menten constant values of leucine amino peptidase and alkaline phosphatase were different in the intestine mucosal homogenate of the two fish at each measured temperature (from a minimum of 2.5 to a maximum of 37-degrees-C). However, the values found at 2.5-degrees-C for the Antarctic species and 15-degrees-C for the eel where comparable. Furthermore, its value was unchanged in eel intestine apical membranes, both in the presence and without enzyme lipid microenvironment. While the maximal enzymatic activities of the leucine aminopeptidase and maltase did not decrease without their enzyme lipid microenvironment, produced by treatment with Triton X-100, the impairment of alkaline phosphatase maximal activity cannot be significantly differentiated from a non-specific inhibitory effect of the detergent. The activation energy values of leucine amino peptidase, alkaline phosphatase and maltase were lower in the Antarctic fish (11.7, 5.6 and 11.8 kcal.mol-1, respectively) than in the eel (13.6, 7.6 and 13.1 kcal . mol-1, respectively). The thermal stability of alkaline phosphatase and maltase is different in Pagothenia bernacchii and Anguilla anguilla intestinal homogenate.
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