The deoxyribonuclease (DNase) activity of the dipteran (Chironomus thummi) salivary gland, measured both enzymatically and immunochemically, increases about 7-fold with the onset of metamorphosis. The increase in DNase activity occurs at a time when the activities of other enzymes and the total protein content are decreasing. The increased DNase activity is followed by glandular destruction. It is suggested that the alterations of this activity may be regulated by the activities of specific chromosomal sites, and that the enzyme may, at least in part, account for the glandular destruction observed at the time of increased enzyme activity.

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