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June 20, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(25):1919-1920. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660510035014

The chemist and the biologist have attached a mysterious dignity to the proteins ever since these compounds were recognized as distinct components of living matter. The very name proteins was selected by Mulder nearly a century ago to indicate their primary importance. Even before those details of structure were known that represent the molecule as a complex of eighteen or more amino-acids united into an elaborate polypeptid arrangement, the unusually large size of the molecular units had impressed itself on students of the albuminous compounds. This characteristic seems to endow them with a sort of sluggishness in reaction and a stability that adapts them to become part of the fundamental structure of cells.

A recent writer 1 has remarked that the large molecular weights of the proteins must be considered one of their outstanding characteristics, in great part responsible for such colloidal aspects of their behavior as their failure to