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Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay

[Limulus amoebocyte lysate assays]

abbr. also LAL assay; often simply referred to as Limulus test. This test utilizes an aqueous extract of amoebocytes from the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus to detect and quantitate endotoxins (Tanaka and Iwanaga, 1993). It is based on the original observation by Levin and Bang (1968) that Limulus amoebocyte lysates form a gel in the presence of minute amounts of endotoxin. A positive reaction is characterised by gel formation, whereas in a negative reaction the mixture remains liquid. Gel formation involves a cascade of serine proteases with horseshoe crab factor C, which normally exists as a zymogen, acting as the primer of the coagulation cascade (Morita et al, 1985; Iwanaga, 1993).

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