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November 6, 1967

Protein-Sulfhydryl Groups In Cell Control Mechanisms

JAMA. 1967;202(6):550-551. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130190156036

To the Editor:—  Sensitivity tests on hundreds of animal and human cancers have shown greater attack on cancers than normal tissues by selected drugs reacting with sulfhydryl (SH) groups, drugs termed SH inhibitors.1-3 Nature herself appears to control cell division by regulating SH groups.4Cancer probably devolves to derangement of regulatory mechanisms for mitosis about which little is known except that very large numbers of chemical reactions must occur simultaneously or in interrelated sequence for mitosis to occur. Either huge numbers of separate regulatory mechanisms and separate chemical receptors for regulators may be involved, or a single common chemical denominator may be crucial in turning on and off the host of reactions. Because of its inherent simplicity, the latter hypothesis may be the more probable.3,4Protein-SH groups play essential roles at multiple levels of cell control processes. To earlier data1-5 on the importance of protein-SH groups