Letter | Published:

Action of Proteolytic Enzymes on the Oxytocic Principle of the Pituitary Gland

Nature volume 131, page 470 (01 April 1933) | Download Citation



FOR more than a year we have been engaged in a study of the inactivation by enzymes of purified preparations1 of the oxytocic principle of the pituitary gland. The stimulating action of the hormone on smooth muscle is slowly destroyed by aminopolypeptidase preparations from English brewers' yeast, and is rapidly destroyed by dipeptidase and proteinase preparations from the same source. Preparations of dipeptidase and aminopolypeptidase, with which Dr. Grassmann of Munich kindly presented us, also inactivated the hormone. None of the enzymes mentioned above is responsible for this inactivation. It is apparently due to an additional enzyme, present in these preparations, which has a pH optimum at 7·4.

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  1. 1.

    and , Biochem. J., 26, 337; 1932.

  2. 2.

    , and , Naturwiss., 20, 658; 1932.

  3. 3.

    , Chemistry and Industry, 52, 160; 1933.

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  1. Biochemical Department, The Lister Institute, London, S.W.1.

    • J. M. GULLAND
    •  & T. F. MACRAE


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