A histochemical method for demonstration of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenation by tissues is described. The method utilizes Nitro BT as an indicator, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate obtained from hydrolysis of commercially obtainable glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate diethylacetal (monobarium salt) as substrate, and (ethylenediamine)tetraacetic acid acid disodium as an activating agent in a medium buffered to pH 7.2 by 0.2 M sodium phosphate. The heat lability, substrate and coenzyme specificity, and sulfhydryl and phosphate dependence of the tissue component catalyzing this reaction indicate that glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity is being demonstrated. The disparity between the known pH optimum of this enzyme and that determined histochemically, and the anomalous histochemical localization to mitochondria of this enzyme which has been found in the soluble fraction by differential centrifugation, are thought to result from the diaphorase dependence of the tetrazolium methods and to emphasize the need for caution in the interpretation of histochemically determined intracellular localization of dehydrogenating enzymes. The evidence gathered by previous workers concerning the feasibility of demonstrating specific dehydrogenases with Nitro BT, and the correspondence of the distribution of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase determined histochemically with available quantitative data, suggest that at the cellular level the histochemical results accurately reflect the distribution of this enzyme.

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