Bioelectronics. A Study in Cellular Regulations, Defense, by Albert Szent-Györgyi

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By Albert Szent-Györgyi

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Extra info for Bioelectronics. A Study in Cellular Regulations, Defense, and Cancer

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Electron transfer can take place not only between differ­ ent molecules but also between the different parts of the same molecule. Also, one and the same molecule can act, alternately, or simultaneously, as donor and acceptor, con­ taining both an occupied orbital of relatively high energy and a relatively low-lying empty orbital. As emphasized by Mulliken acceptor and donor do not denote two different types of molecules, only different modes of action, though a high-filled or low-empty orbital may dominate the reactions of a molecule making it into a good donor or acceptor.

As is generally known, nitroprusside (in the presence of ammonium sulfate and ammonia) gives an intense purple color with SH. It is the classical reagent for SH. So if to an aqueous tissue ex­ tract nitroprusside is added (in the presence of ammonium sulfate and ammonia) a purple color appears, which is due to the reduction of the nitroprusside by the SH of the glutathione present. This color very soon fades out. Thiourea gives only a very faint color with nitroprusside, evidently due to the equilibrium of its two resonating forms shown in Fig.

2 3 ) . Quinones readily oxidize iodide even in dilute solution. The CO group being ambivalent, capable of acting both as π acceptor and η donor, may play a prominent role in shaping the cells' DA balance. The same is true of the CS group. As acceptor it can go over into C S " which, by bind­ ing a proton, can turn into CSH. The biopotential of various SH groups seems to be very different, depending on the neighboring groups. There seems to be a whole gamut of SH biopotentials. The SH's involved in cell division seem to have a rather high reactivity and so will be the first to inter­ act with acceptors, reacting even with weak acceptors.

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