Hydrolysis of nerve gas by squid-type diisopropyl phosphorofluoridate hydrolyzing enzyme on agarose resin

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Science  05 Mar 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4537, pp. 1255-1257
DOI: 10.1126/science.7058344


An enzyme purified from squid nerve that hydrolyzes the cholinesterase inhibitor diisopropyl phosphorofluoridate (DFP) has now been coupled to agarose beads. A column of this agarose-DFPase hydrolyzes the nerve gas 1,2,2-trimethylpropyl methylphosphonofluoridate (Soman). Although the more inhibitory of the four diastereoisomers of Soman are hydrolyzed least rapidly, a column of sufficient length will accomplish 95 percent hydrolysis whether measured by fluoride release or loss of cholinesterase-inhibiting power. The results suggest a means for detoxifying unwanted chemical warfare agents.