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December 20, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(25):2190. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820510078030

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To the Editor:—  An editorial comment (The Journal, September 20, p. 1020) discussed some observations by W. M. Dale: The Effect of X-Rays on Enzymes, Biochem. J.34:1367 [Nov.] 1940) on the roentgen inactivation of purified enzymes in dilute solution. Under these conditions a large fraction of the activity of the specimen could be destroyed by doses of radiation even smaller than those used in radiotherapy.The hypothesis that cellular damage produced by roentgen rays may be a consequence of the inactivation of intracellular enzymes has recently been regarded as untenable because of the enormous doses required for inactivation in experiments with crude concentrated enzyme preparations. The results of Dale with purified enzymes have again brought forth the suggestion that enzyme destruction in cells may after all play a part in determining the sensitivities of different tissues to roentgen rays.In this connection it is interesting to consider some

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