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Protein Of The Month

February: β-Glucuronidase
Origin: β-Glucuronidase is a family of enzymes that perform a diverse set of functions. In humans, for example, it converts conjugated bilirubin into the unconjugated form, making bilirubin suitable for reabsorption.
Application: β-Glucuronidase is used in laboratories as a reporter gene in GUS assays to monitor gene promotor activity.
How: β-Glucuronidase catalyzes the breakdown of complex carbohydrates. The GUS assay combines β-Glucuronidase with a colourless or non-fluorescent substrate. An active promoter may then induce expression of β-Glucuronidase, which in turn then transforms the substrate to a coloured or fluorescent product.
Did you know: Although these associations are modest, some studies suggest that plant foods, particularly constituents of fruits and fiber-containing foods, may impact human β-glucuronidase activity in what can be viewed as a potentially favorable direction.

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