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July 1963

Diseases of Porphyrin Metabolism

Arch Dermatol. 1963;88(1):107. doi:10.1001/archderm.1963.01590190113023

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This small volume is an excellent and concise account of our present knowledge of porphyrin metabolism and the porphyrias, human and animal, natural and experimental. One chapter is devoted to the chemistry of the porphyrins, their distribution in nature, and their vital role in cellular physiology, particularly in the biosynthesis of heme. In the process of the formation of hemoglobin, a protein-bound form of iron reacts with a protein-bound form of protoporphyrin through a series of enzymatically controlled stages to produce heme. Deviations from these pathways, through a genetic fault or under the influence of tissue poisons, bring about the various forms of porphyria.

Watson's classification of the types of the disease is brought up to date with a complete description of the clinical, genetic, and chemical distinctions of each form, including the newest erythropoietic protoporphyria as well as the toxic porphyria of the unfortunate young Turks that followed the

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