By J. Greenstein, et al.,

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Stora et al. (1947) found after reaction of mustard gas with gliadin, ovalbumin, serum albumin, oxyhemoglobin, and casein that for each atom of sulfur introduced the proteins contained approximately one atom of chlorine. , that the- product Protein -(CHZ)~-S(CHz)z C1 was obtained. Peters and Wakelin (1947) also found chlorine in mustard-treated kerateine, but observed that the amount decreased when the protein was washed for long periods with water. They attribute this to the slow hydrolysis of the chloroalkyl group introduced.

C. Crosslinking and Aging. Recently Haddow (1953) has proposed an extension of the crosslinking hypothesis to the occurrence of spontaneous tumors. Observing that the deterioration of plastics, rubbers and proteins on aging is often due to the formation of crosslinks between chains he speculates whether the increasing incidence of cancer with old age may result from a similar deterioration of tissue components. , aldehydes) which are normally present or formed in the body, it is not unlikely that during metabolic processes the formation of crosslinked structures occurs as a side reaction (Bjorksten, 1951), and there may be a special biochemical mechanism whereby these are eliminated.

The effect was reversed by mild alkaline hydrolysis, and it was tentatively concluded that a labile adduct was formed between the tyrosine hydroxyl groups and mustard gas. This reaction seemed surprising for two reasons: (l), the phenolic hydroxyl groups with a pK greater than 10 are almost entirely in the nonreactive form a t pH 6; (2) the ester that could be formed would be stable to alkali. Stevens et al. (1948a) showed that the full color value of mustard treated insulin was regained on extraction with sodium dodecylsulfate during which no combined mustard was released.

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