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Published January 20, 1927 | Published
Journal Article Open

The autodestruction of pepsin in relation to its ionization


1. Evidence is presented that pepsin is a univalent acid with a value for pK of 6.85 (or a base, with pK 7.39). 2. The autodestruction of the pepsin is shown to be dependent in part upon an instantaneous irreversible change occurring in the ionized form of the enzyme (if it be an acid) or in the unionized form (if it be a base). 3. A further progressive autodestruction of pepsin at any given hydrogen ion concentration and temperature is defined by the mass law equation for a monomolecular reaction 4. The velocity of autodestruction of pepsin is directly proportional to the hydroxyl ion concentration. It is much less in the range of hydroxyl ion concentration from pOH 9.89-7.7, than in the range greater than pOH 7.7. In both of these ranges variations in pK with pOH may be represented by straight lines.

Additional Information

© 1927 Rockefeller University Press. Accepted: 30 September 1926. Published January 20, 1927. The authors wish to thank Mr. M. H. Centner for his generous assistance with numerous analyses.

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