There are several isolated facts and observations that seem to connect the aromatic radicals of the protein molecules with the toxic properties that seem to be common to all proteins, and on which seems to depend the property of inciting various reactions in whatever animal organism a protein may be injected. In the first place comes the fundamental fact that aromatic compounds are usually toxic, from the simple phenol to the highest molecular compounds containing an aromatic nucleus.
Again, the toxic and bactericidal properties of the products of protein disintegration are largely ascribed to aromatic compounds. Obermayer and Pick have found that the remarkable character of specificity of protein seems to depend in some way on the aromatic radicals of the protein molecule, as shown by the following observation: The precipitin that is produced by injecting any given protein into an animal is more or less closely specific for the
WELLS HG. THE NATURE OF THE POISONOUS ELEMENT OF PROTEINS THAT IS CONCERNED IN THE REACTION OF HYPER-SENSITIZATION.. JAMA. 1908;L(7):527–528. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310330035003
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