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December 26, 1953


JAMA. 1953;153(17):1524. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940340026012

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Du Vigneaud and his associates working at Cornell University have announced the total synthesis of the oxytocic hormone of the neurohypophysis.1 This achievement is particularly significant in that it represents the first reported synthesis of a polypeptide hormone. In a recent editorial in The Journal,2 attention was drawn to the remarkable advances made by this group of workers in the purification and identification of the oxytocic and pressor hormones. They established that the oxytocic hormone consisted of one equivalent each of eight amino acids and three equivalents of ammonia, and on the basis of various physical properties and chemical reactivities of the highly purified natural hormone they deduced the probable chemical structure. Despite the extreme technical difficulties that beset work of this nature, they succeeded in synthetizing this compound, which has proved to be virtually identical with the natural oxytocin in regard to biological activity and chemical and

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