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J Exp Med. 1929 Jan 31;49(2):267-86.

A STUDY OF PNEUMOCOCCUS AUTOLYSIS.

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1
Hospital of The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

Abstract

1. Autolysis of Pneumococcus is accompanied by proteolysis, which results in an increase in amino and non-coagulable nitrogen. 2. Autolysis of Pneumococcus is accompanied by lipolysis during which there is a liberation of ether-soluble fatty acids. 3. When extracts containing the active intracellular enzymes are added to heat-killed pneumococci, lysis of the cells occurs and there is an increase in the non-coagulable and amino nitrogen, comparable to the changes accompanying spontaneous autolysis. 4. When extracts containing the active intracellular enzymes are added to emulsions of the alcohol-soluble lipoids extracted from pneumococci, an increase in the ether-soluble fatty acid occurs. 5. Sodium desoxycholate in excess inhibits the action of pneumococcus protease; it does not inhibit the action of pneumococcus lipase. 6. When suspensions of pneumococci are cooled to 0 degrees C., a temperature at which the rate of enzyme action is greatly retarded, the organisms go into solution rapidly when sodium desoxycholate is added, but this process is not accompanied by lipolysis or proteolysis. It does not seem probable, therefore, that the "bile" solution of pneumococci is identical with the phenomenon of autolysis as ordinarily understood and measured. 7. The relation of enzyme action to antigenic dissociation is discussed.

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