Letter | Published:

Use of the Word Substrate

Naturevolume 140page158 (1937) | Download Citation



IN recent years, the practice has grown up among workers in surface chemistry of using the word'substrate' to denote the bulk phase underlying a surface film, regardless of the fact that this word has been in general use for a much longer time to denote the substance upon which an enzyme acts. The name as applied to a bulk phase on which a surface film rests would seem harmless enough in most cases, but since it is almost certain that, in enzyme action, the substance acted on is adsorbed, probably locally and one molecule thick, on the surface of the enzyme, the same word 'substrate' will have to do duty both for the underlying, and more bulky, enzyme, and for the small molecules upon which the enzyme acts!

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  1. Sir William Ramsay Laboratories of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, University College, London, W.C.1.

    • N. K. ADAM


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