Cytochrome P-450 from bovine adrenocortical mitochondria exists in three forms of molecular weight: 850,000 (protein 16), of one-half (protein 8), and of one-quarter of this value (protein 4). The forms of the enzyme are named according to the number of subunits and all appear to be active in converting cholesterol to 3beta-hydroxy-5-pregnen-20-one (side chain cleavage) (Shikita, M., and Hall, P.F. (1973) J. Biol. Chem. 248, 5606). To determine whether all three forms are active at their characteristic molecular weights, the three cytochromes were each layered onto separate sucrose density gradients and centrifuged at 49,000 rpm for 60 min; the gradients contained all the factors necessary for side chain cleavage including one of the following substrates: cholesterol, 20S-hydroxycholesterol, and 20S,22R-dihydroxycholesterol. Regardless of the form of P-450 layered onto the gradient and regardless of the substrate, enzyme activity (side chain cleavage) was observed only in fractions corresponding to a sedimentation coefficient of 20 to 22 S which is that for protein 16. No activity was observed at S values corresponding to either protein 8 or protein 4. These findings indicate that the active form of cytochrome P-450 from adrenocortical mitochondria is that containing 16 subunits, i.e. the form in which the cytochrome is normally isolated from adrenal mitochondria. Forms consisting of eight and four subunits which can be prepared from protein 16 become active only by forming protein 16, at least in an aqueous medium in vitro.
A patient with aortitis syndrome had a pleural effusion which subsided but reappeared with an exacerbation of aortitis symptoms while under antituberculosis treatment. The character of the fluid was that of an exudate, and the glucose concentration was normal. Clinical and laboratory features of the case suggest that the effusion was part of the aortitis syndrome per se.