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By F. F. Nord


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Additional info for Advances in Enzymology and Related Areas of Molecular Biology, Volume 8

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Tetanic muscle contractions and nerve conduction are good examples of physiologic functions proceeding in a rapid rhythm. No doubt organisms exist which exhibit either a rapid or a slow metabolic rhythm. Nerve conduction is only a specialized form of the general conductivity of protoplasm. This has been emphasized particularly by Lillie 46 LUDWIK M O h d (80). Chromidia, which exhibit irritability, are concatenated with each other by means of interchromidia. each other. The changes which occur upon stimulation are transmitted from one chromidium to the next, and so on.

It has been demonstrated by Mom6 (103) that cytoplasmic fibrils are stretched under the influence of dehydrating agents. Evidently the polypeptide chains of interchromidia are stretched in the dehydrated, and folded in the hydrated, condition. In living cells the polypeptide chains of cytoplasmic fibrils are folded, the degree of folding being variable under different physiologic conditions. The structure of protoplasm is in a dynamic condition and therefore it is probable that slow, active movements are continuously performed by the cytoplasmic fibrils.

In this case two contraction waves travel from the two opposite poles toward the equator of the dividing cell. Energy is required to produce hydrating and dehydrating substances which regulate the degree of folding of the polypeptide chains of the cytoplasmic fibrils and the degree of condensation of the cytoplasmic texture. Cytoplasmic streamings and amoeboid movements are produced when, upon stimulation, the equilibrium between these two kinds of substances is disturbed. The general contractility of the cytoplasm is similar to the contractility of the muscles.

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