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Influence of Potassium on Sugar Metabolism


IN a recent communication1 Leibowitz and Kupermintz have demonstrated that in cultures of E. coli in M/60 glucose containing potassium chloride in a concentration of M/250 the potassium stimulates the utilization of the sugar in a similar manner to that noted by Pulver and Verzar2 in the case of yeast. Immediately before the commencement of fermentation the potassium enters the yeast cell, reappearing in the external medium during fermentation proper. This initial entry may be connected with intracellular glycogen formation. The Donnan equilibrium would suggest that during rapid carbohydrate oxidation potassium should leave the cell, and enter when carbohydrate is being elaborated3. The possibility that the cell membrane may exert some effect on carbohydrate metabolism is suggested by observations on blood stored for transfusion purposes4.

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  1. NATURE, 150, 233 (1942).

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  2. NATURE, 145, 823 (1940).

  3. Conway and Boyle, NATURE, 144, 710 (1939).

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  4. Maizels, Lancet, 722 (June 7, 1941).

  5. Amer. J. Physiol., 45, 147 (1917).

  6. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., 49, 147 (1942).

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FARMER, S., JONES, D. Influence of Potassium on Sugar Metabolism. Nature 150, 768–769 (1942).

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