The ability of a number p-nitrophenylethyl alkyl, phenyl alkyl, chloroalkyl, and aminoalkyl phosphonates to inhibit the activated first component (C'1a) of guinea pig complement, and the antigen-induced release of histamine from sliced, perfused guinea pig lung has been compared. C'1a in its reactivity with these phosphonates is distinctly more similar to trypsin than to any of the other enzymes studied previously. It is suggested that both trypsin and C'1a possess an anionic group in the active center of the respective enzyme, but the distance between the anionic and esteratic site in C'1a might be less than in trypsin.
The pattern of inhibition of histamine relase by the alkyl, phenyl alkyl, and chloroalkyl phosphonates is similar to the inhibition of C'1a by these compounds, although distinct differences are apparent. The aminoalkyl phosphonates are distinctly less active inhibitors of histamine release than the corresponding alkyl phosphonates, whereas the reverse is true of the inhibition of C'1a. On the basis of these differences, it is tentatively concluded that the organophosphorus-inhibitable enzymes in the guinea pig systems studied here are similar but not identical.