[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 9, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(19):1252. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470450032002

A most important addition to biological sciences is furnished recently by the observation that ferments, at least several kinds if not all, are capable of reversing their ordinary splitting action, and instead combine the separated substances into the substance they originally formed. For example, the renal epithelium, which has long been known to synthesize benzoic acid and glycocoll into hippuric acid when brought into contact with a mixture of the two substances, will act in an opposite manner when brought into contact similarly with hippuric acid alone, splitting it up into glycocoll and benzoic acid. In other words, enzyme action is like any other chemical reaction, in that the reaction is reversible.

This important property of enzymes was first demonstrated by A. C. Hill,1 who approached the question in the way above mentioned, that is, with the object of ascertaining if enzyme action was reversible in the same way