Letter | Published:

An Unknown Amino-acid occurring in the Rock Lobster (Jasus lalandii)

Naturevolume 169page968 (1952) | Download Citation



IN the course of an investigation (to be reported elsewhere) of press liquor, a waste product of the South African rock lobster industry, it was necessary to examine certain nitrogenous fractions. The solute in de-proteinized (trichloroacetic acid) press liquor was found to consist almost entirely of free amino-acids. A phenol/lutidine chromatogram showed an unknown substance giving a pink to pink-purple colour with ninhydrin. From its position on the chromatogram, it could be either methionine sulphoxide, or the ‘T-spot’ (β-aminoisobutyric acid) of Crumpler, Dent, Harris and Westall1. The first possibility was disproved by oxidation with hydrogen peroxide in the presence of molybdate; the unknown appearing in its usual position, unlike the sulphoxide, which is oxidized to the sulphone and appears elsewhere on the chromatogram.

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  1. 1

    Crumpler, H. R., Dent, C. E., Harris, H., and Westall, R. G., Nature, 167, 307 (1951).

  2. 2

    Crumpler, H. R., and Dent, C. E., Nature, 164, 441 (1949).

  3. 3

    Camien, M. N., Sarlet, H., Duchâteau, G., and Florkin, M., J. Biol. Chem., 193, 881 (1951).

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  1. South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, National Chemical Research Laboratory, Pretoria



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