The acid phosphatase activity of normal alveolar and BCG-induced alveolar macrophages has been examined. Five electrophoretically distinct forms of acid phosphatase have been identified in both normal and BCG-induced macrophages. The acid phosphatases can be divided into two major categories. One category, containing four distinct forms, is readily solubilized after repeated freezing and thawing or mechanical disruption The second category, containing one form, is firmly bound to the lysosomal membrane and can be solubilized by treatment of the lysosomal fraction with Triton X-100.
The Triton-extractable acid phosphatase and the predominant aqueous soluble acid phosphatase have been shown to differ in the degree of membrane binding, in solubility, in net charge, and in molecular weight. The two pre-dominant phosphatases possess identical pH optimum and do not differ in response to enzyme inhibitors.
BCG stimulation has been shown to result in a nearly twofold increase in acid phosphatase activity. A nearly proportionate increase in the major acid phosphatase forms has been observed.