Protein Metabolism

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Abstract

The “Elementary Compendium of Physiology for the Use of Students,” the first modern textbook of physiology, appeared in 1817. The author, Francois Magendie, expounded the idea of a division of the “proximate principles of animals” into nitrogenous and nonnitrogenous matter. Twenty years later, Gerardus Mulder of Utrecht coined the term “protein” on the, albeit erroneous, supposition that such nitrogen-rich organic compounds as fibrin, egg albumen, and gluten contained a common basic component. The discovery of the real basic components of protein, the amino acids, stretched over more than a century, culminating with the discovery of threonine by Rose in 1935. For detailed historical accounts of these developments, McCollum (1957) and Munro (1964) should be consulted.