Nonexponential losses of activity in alkaline phosphatase were observed with four substrates after γ-irradiation. Those losses were at the same rates for each of the combinations of radicals generated in water under O2, N2, and N2 O. However, the compositions of the radiolysed proteins varied depending on the gaseous atmosphere used. The enzyme retained a high proportion of its activity even when extensive radiolytic damage to its component residues was found. These data suggest that radical attack on the phosphatase was at centers of secondary importance for the enzymatic activity.

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