5′-nucleotidase was purified to apparent homogeneity as judged by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Its molecular weight was estimated by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, by gel exclusion chromatography, and by membrane filtration; values of 66000, 48500, and 15000 to 30000, respectively, were obtained. The enzyme was completely released from bacteria by osmotic shock treatment. The apparently anomalous behaviour of 5′-nucleotidase in terms of the molecular sieving hypothesis for the release of enzymes by osmotic shock proposed by Smith & Wyatt (1974) and extended by Broad & Smith (1979) is discussed.


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