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Published April 1925 | Published
Journal Article Open

The enzymatic synthesis of protein. IV. The effect of concentration on peptic synthesis


In the enzymatic hydrolysis and synthesis of proteins in vitro, the important factor, the factor upon which the direction and the degree of the reaction are dependent, is not the relative concentration of water, but the concentration of material in solution. This conclusion, pointed out by Moore, the authors have discussed at length in a previous paper (1). As shown there, the molecular concentration of water is always so enormously greater than that of the other components that the small amounts added or removed in the course of either reaction are negligible, and it may, therefore, be considered as remaining constant. The distinguishing feature of the hydrolysis and synthesis of protein is the conversion of 1 molecule of protein into a number of molecules of products. It is this characteristic which is responsible for complete hydrolysis in dilute solutions and for the ease with which synthesis is achieved in concentrated solutions. It follows that the extent of synthesis will increase as the concentration increases, and that as the concentration decreases a point will be reached at which synthesis will fail. The concentration at this point will correspond to the maximum concentration of protein capable of complete hydrolysis.

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© 1925 American Society of Biological Chemists. Received for publication, February 14, 1925.

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