March 1, 1930


Author Affiliations

Faribault, Minn.

JAMA. 1930;94(9):653-654. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710350053026

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To the Editor:  —Work by Walter Jones (Concerning the Enzyme of the Thymus Gland, Ztschr. f. physiol. Chem. 41:101, 1904) showed that the thymus gland contains a soluble enzyme which attaches to the nucleoproteins of the gland when these are separated with acetic acid and dissolved in sodium carbonate. In this manner he was able to separate it from the soluble constituents of the gland and so determine more accurately the products of decomposition that are formed through its action. He found that at body temperature, and in the concentration in which it exists in the gland, the enzyme rapidly decomposes the nucleoproteins by the formation of phosphoric acid and xanthine bases. These xanthine bases differ from those that are formed as the result of the action of boiling acids on thymic nucleic acids. This proteolytic enzyme differs from trypsin in that it is most active in acid liquids

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