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February 28, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(9):587. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490090035002

At the present time physiologic chemists are looking for the greatest advance in knowledge of intracellular metabolism to come from the many recent observations on the intracellular ferments. As has already been noted in these columns, the fundamental observations on proteid splitting enzymes in the tissue cells were made by Salkowski and his pupils, who showed that tissues of all kinds are able to digest themselves when kept at incubator temperature for a time, in the absence of bacteria. This process of autolysis is due to the presence, within the cells, of an enzyme which is very similar to the trypsin of pancreatic juice, although not identical, as is shown by careful study of the products of the digestion.

A most important advance seems to have been made recently by Martin Jacoby,1 who has obtained evidence that the ferments that accomplish autolysis are to a certain extent specific, that

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