Extracts of purified mitochondria from adult rabbit liver and kidney have been prepared by lysis with Triton X-100. Such extracts contain deoxyribonuclease activity demonstrable at alkaline pH. Studies utilizing the effects of substrate variation, differing ionic strength, nucleoside di- and triphosphates, and SH-group inhibitors reveal the existence of at least five distinguishable deoxyribonuclease activities in these extracts.
Assay of lysosomal and mitochondrial enzyme markers indicates no significant lysosomal contamination of the mitochondrial extracts. Further studies also suggest that the alkaline deoxyribonuclease activity is specifically located in or in association with mitochondria.