Electrofocusing resolved six distinct haemolytic components in crude ammonium sulphate-precipitated staphylococcal α-toxin. Four of these had the properties of staphylococcal α-toxin as judged by several criteria and were designated α (I = 8·55±0·12); α (I = 9·15±0·07); α (I = 7·36±0·03); α (I = 6·28±0·11); 85–95 per cent. of the recovered activity was found as the α component. Reversible interconversion of α and α was demonstrated and these forms showed similar patterns in disk-gel electrophoresis; each showed a main band having a molecular weight of 36,000 and a second band having a molecular weight of 170,000. In the presence of 6M urea α yielded a single haemolytic component having a I of 8·50, and electrophoresis of α and α in urea revealed a single main band.


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