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June 1957

Proteolytic Activity in PemphigusI. The Pels-Macht Test

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;75(6):793-795. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550180007002


In 1927, Pels and Macht1,2 noted that human sera contained a factor which inhibited the growth of Lupinus albus seedlings. This "phytotoxic" factor was found to be increased in pemphigus sera. More recently, Stoughton3,4 has reported that acantholysis similar to that present in pemphigus bullae could be produced in vitro by the action of proteolytic enzymes. Consideration of these findings suggested that the inhibitory effect of pemphigus sera on seedling growth might be due to altered proteolytic activity. In the present experiments, the effect of several proteolytic enzymes and enzyme inhibitors on the growth of Lupinus albus seedlings was tested. Human serum fibrinolysin was found to produce a significant inhibition of growth of the seedlings.

Materials and Methods

The technique of the test was that recommended by Pels and Macht.5 Large healthy seeds of the Lupinus albus bean were soaked overnight in tap

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