Some Experiences with Labeling Sugars by Tritium Gas Exposure

  • Robert K. Crane
  • George R. Drysdale
  • Kenneth H. Hawkins


Our interest in the Wilzbach direct tritium-labeling procedure [1] was aroused by the possibilities it offered to obtain radioactive counterparts of sugars and sugar analogs for which chemical synthesis from C14-labeled precursors is either very difficult, prohibitively expensive, or both. With few exceptions, it seems, only naturally occurring hexoses are easily labeled with C14, inasmuch as biosynthetic methods may be used. In our older studies with animal tissue hexokinase [2], and in our more recent studies of various aspects of membrane transport of sugars in ascites tumor cells [3], kidney cortex slices [4] and intestinal epithelial cells [5, 6] we have found particularly useful a group of compounds which are analogs of D-glucose but which, unlike glucose, cannot be metabolized by animal tissues. It is this very property, metabolic inertness, so useful to us on the one hand, that is, on the other hand, an effective barrier to easy C14-labeling of these compounds.


Intestinal Epithelial Cell Free Sugar Chromatographic Purification Liquid Scintillation Spectrometer Tritium Atom 
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Copyright information

© New England Nuclear Corporation 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Crane
    • 1
  • George R. Drysdale
    • 1
  • Kenneth H. Hawkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological ChemistryWashington University Medical SchoolSt. LouisUSA

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