Letter | Published:

Alkaline Decomposition of Amino-acids

Naturevolume 168page518 (1951) | Download Citation



IN the course of an examination of the amino-acid composition of soil hydrolysates by the paper chromatography technique, it was noticed that alkaline hydrolysates of soil contained greater amounts of α-amino-n-butyric acid than did acid hydrolysates1. Further work indicated that alkaline hydrolysates also contained greater amounts of glycine. These results suggested that, under the conditions commonly employed for the hydrolysis of proteins with alkali, glycine and α-amino-n-butyric acid are formed by decomposition of other amino-acids. Paper chromatographic examination of acid (6 N hydrochloric acid) and alkaline (5 N sodium hydroxide) hydrolysates of casein supported this, since α-amino-n-butyric acid was found in the alkaline, but not in the acid, hydrolysate, and the glycine spot on chromatograms of the alkaline hydrolysate was distinctly stronger than the corresponding spot on comparable chromatograms of the acid hydrolysate.

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  1. 1

    Bremner, J. M., Biochem. J., 47, 538 (1950)

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  1. Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts

    • J. M. BREMNER


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