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Letters to Nature
Nature 176, 317 (13 August 1955); doi:10.1038/176317a0

Meaning of ‘Turnover’ in Biochemistry

C. A. MAWSON

Biology Branch, Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., Chalk River, Ontario.

IN a recent communication, Kleiber1 has discussed two different definitions of the term ‘turnover-rate’. Some workers, particularly those associated with Chaikoff, regard the turnover-rate as the rate at which a substance is replaced in the tissue cells (definition 1). This is essentially the concentration of the substance in the tissue divided by the turnover-time. Others, including Kleiber, consider it to be the rate at which the whole ‘pool’ of the substance, however large or small, is replaced in the tissue, given by the reciprocal of the turnover-time (definition 2). Both groups agree that the turnover-time is the biological ‘average life’, given by 1.44 × biological half-life.

  1. Kleiber, M. , Nature, 175, 342 (1955). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  2. Mawson, C. A. , and Fischer, M. I. , Nature, 167, 859 (1951). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  3. Reiner, J. M. , Arch. Biochem. and Biophys., 46, 53 (1953). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
  4. Zilversmit, D. B. , Nature, 175, 863 (1955). | ISI | ChemPort |



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