A Probable Peptidase in Carcinoid Tumours


CARCINOID tumours (argentaffin carcinomas) are considered to arise from the argentaffin (enterochromaffin, Kultschitsky) cells of the intestine. These tumours contain and secrete 5-hydroxytryptamine1, and histochemical investigations2 make it likely that enterochromaffin cells do likewise. In three cases of argentaffin carcinoma recently investigated, we have observed a strong esterase (Fig. 1) capable of hydrolysing a variety of substrates. Using O-acetyl-5-bromoindoxyl as substrate and an incubation time of 4 hr., inhibition studies gave the results shown in Table 1.

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  1. 1

    Lembeck, F., Nature, 172, 910 (1953).

  2. 2

    Barter, R. A., and Pearse, A. G. E., Nature, 172, 810 (1953); J. Path. Bact., 69, 25 (1955). Pearse, A. G. E., Riv. Istochim., 2, 103 (1956).

  3. 3

    Pepler, W. J., and Pearse, A. G. E., J. Neurochem. (in the press).

  4. 4

    Popoff, N. W., Arch. Path., 27, 841 (1939).

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PEARSE, A., PEPLER, W. A Probable Peptidase in Carcinoid Tumours. Nature 179, 589 (1957). https://doi.org/10.1038/179589a0

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