Beta Galactosidase is an exoglycosidase which hydrolyzes the beta-glycosidic bond formed between a galactose and its organic moiety. Deficiencies in the protein in humans can result in galactosialidosis or Morquio B syndrome. In E. coli, the gene of beta-galactosidase, the lacZ gene, is present as part of the inducible system lac operon which is activated in the presence of lactose when glucose level is low. E. coli beta Galactosidase is commonly used in molecular biology as a reporter marker to monitor gene expression. Another popular use for beta Galactosidase is in blue/white screening to identify recombinant clones. Beta Galactosidase can be split in two peptides, lacZalpha and LacZOmega, neither of which is active by itself but when both are present together, spontaneously reassemble into a functional enzyme. This property is exploited in many cloning vectors. The presence or absence of an active beta Galactosidase may be detected through addition of artificial chromogenic substrates such as X-gal, fluorescent substrates such as Fluorescein di-beta-D-galactopyranoside (FDG), luminescent substrates and others. Beta Galactosidase activity at pH 6 is an indicator of senescent cells not found in presenescent, quiescent or dividing cells.
Beta-Gal; betagal; bgal; ß-gal; ß-galactosidase; ßgal
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