When a portion of a biochemically interesting compound, such as methyl or phenyl, etc., remains intact throughout the experiment, then the hydrogens attached to the carbons may serve as a label for the carbons, or for the ring system. In this way, a purine or pyrimidine ring, a steroid framework, the phenyl group of an aromatic amino acid, a portion of fatty acid, has been used, when suitably labeled with tritium, as a marker for the group in question. This was one of the important uses for deuterium in biochemical systems, as shown in the pioneering work of Schoenheimer, Rittenberg, and numerous other investigators. In the text by Kamen, Radioactive Tracers in Biology, there is a chapter listing compounds containing deuterium and references are given to some applications with these compounds. It is, thus, simply necessary to state that those examples using stably bound deuterium carry over exactly to the use of tritium in those positions.
KeywordsSuccinic Acid Aromatic Amino Acid Hydrogen Isotope Radioactive Tracer Pyrimidine Ring
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