Summary: The decay of β-galactosidase activity which occurs when acetone-dried organisms are suspended in water at 25° is prevented by various potassium salts, sodium sulphide, azide, fluoride and citrate, manganous chloride and sulphate, cobaltous chloride, oxine, diethyldithio-carbamate, dimethylglyoxime and 2,4-dinitrophenol. Ethylenediamine-tetra-acetate (EDTA) has no effect on the decay but inhibits the enzyme, the inhibition being annulled by various metal cations, notably manganous and ferrous ions. Sodium pyrophosphate increased β-galactosidase activity of intact organisms. This effect is to some extent reversible and is prevented by glucose. It is not accompanied by uptake of sodium pyrophosphate into the organisms. The possible mode of action of pyrophosphate is discussed.


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