Enzymatic activities associated with Golgi apparatus-, endoplasmic reticulum-, plasma membrane-, mitochondria-, and microbody-rich cell fractions isolated from rat liver were determined and used as a basis for estimating fraction purity. Succinic dehydrogenase and cytochrome oxidase (mitochondria) activities were low in the Golgi apparatus-rich fraction. On the basis of glucose-6-phosphatase (endoplasmic reticulum) and 5'-nucleotidase (plasma membrane) activities, the Golgi apparatus-rich fraction obtained directly from sucrose gradients was estimated to contain no more than 10% endoplasmic reticulum- and 11% plasma membrane-derived material. Total protein contribution of endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, plasma membrane, microbodies (uric acid oxidase), and lysosomes (acid phosphatase) to the Golgi apparatus-rich fraction was estimated to be no more than 20–30% and decreased to less than 10% with further washing. The results show that purified Golgi apparatus fractions isolated routinely may exceed 80% Golgi apparatus-derived material. Nucleoside di- and triphosphatase activities were enriched 2–3-fold in the Golgi apparatus fraction relative to the total homogenate, and of a total of more than 25 enzyme-substrate combinations reported, only thiamine pyrophosphatase showed a significantly greater enrichment.

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