Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

John T. Smith

Committee Members

Ada Marie Campbell, Jeannette Biggs


(From the Introduction): Previous work in this laboratory (Pendergrass, '61; Smith and Pendergrass, '62) has shown that the response of rats to avitaminosis E was related not only to the total sulfur in the diet but also to the ratio of inorganic to neutral sulfur. When rats were forced to satisfy their sulfate requirements by oxidation of organic sulfur, a decreased rate of sulfation and decreased sulfur content in the cellular lipoproteins was observed. Since the sulfur of the sulfur-containing amino acids is rapidly oxidized to sulfate, it as assumed that vitamin E was necessary for the optimal conversion of amino acid sulfur to sulfate in these animals. In confirmation, preliminary work in this laboratory has shown that fortified liver homogenates from vitamin E deficient rats were less effective in converting the sulfur of cysteine-S35 to sulfate-S35 than those from their E sufficient litter mates.

However, certain literature reports (Kun, '61) have indicated that sulfate from inorganic sources was poorly utilized by animals. Our findings seem contradictory to literature reports since the response of the rat should be independent of the level of dietary sulfate if inorganic sulfate is not utilized by the animals, and our observations would be difficult to explain.

The present investigation, therefore, was designed to compare the extent to which inorganic sulfur and neutral sulfur sources could be used for sulfation of natural products. Cartilage mucopolysaccharides, which are more easily isolated than other naturally occurring sulfate compounds, were chosen as the natural product to be isolated and analyzed.

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