Letter | Published:

Hydrolysis of Hippuric Acid in Electrolytic Desalters

Nature volume 192, pages 10721073 (16 December 1961) | Download Citation



IN 1947 Consden, Gordon and Martin1 published the design of an apparatus for the removal of salts from solutions of amino-acids and peptides by electrolysis. Since that time this method has been frequently used for the preparation of samples for the analysis of urinary amino-acids by paper chromatography. Whenever this has been done little account seems to have been taken of the fact that hippuric acid, which is present in relatively large quantities in some urines, is a fairly strong organic acid, and for that reason approaches the semipermeable membrane of the desalter at an early stage in the electrolysis, and is there hydrolysed to benzoic acid and glycine. The purpose of this communication is to show that glycine released by the hydrolysis of hippuric acid is retained in the cathode compartment of the desalter, where it adds to the amount of free glycine already present in the urine, and that the increase in free glycine is dependent on the initial concentration of hippuric acid and salt.

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  1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Malaya, Singapore.

    • E. McEVOY-BOWE


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