By Jesse P. Greenstein and Alexander Haddow

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HN2 like sulfur mustard reacts with the purines and pyrimidines of nucleic acids. This was first demonstrated spectrographically (Chanutin and Gjessing, 1946), and more recently a group in the Southern Research Institute (1952) using a new chromatographic separation technique showed that at least two different reaction products are formed with each purine. Reaction also occurs with the purines and pyrimidines of intact nucleic acid (Butler and Press, 1952) ; after extensive reaction with HN2 followed by acid hydrolysis the number of total amino groups (estimated by Van Slyke nitrogen) fell by 10% though the proportion of purines precipitated by silver salts decreased more.

36) as it was shown that a similar reduction in color with mustard gas-treated proteins could be reversed without liberating any mustard groups. Although a similar experiment was not carried out with epoxide-treated proteins, the possibility that combination with amino acid residues other than tyrosine and tryptophan may be responsible for the decreased color cannot be discounted. Evidence for reaction of epoxides with carboxyl groups a t or near pH 7 is conflicting. 5 and esterification can thus be determined by measuring the decrease in acid uptake which occurs in this pH range.

042% of HN2. less in HN2 treated than in untreated PMA. The whole of this effect can be reveraed by saponifying the ester crosslinks with alkali when the PMA regains its original viscosity. If the reaction with HN2 is carried out in progressively more concentrated solutions the fall in viscosity becomes less until the whole effect is reversed and an increase in viscosity is 18 PETER ALEXANDER observed. Finally, with 2% solutions of PMA HN2 brings about the formation of a gel (Alexander, unpublished).

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