Gel filtration analysis of the urinary proteins of some patients with myeloma has shown the presence of "fragments" of Bence Jones proteins which correspond to the variable half of these proteins. Experiments have been carried out to establish the origin of a "fragment" observed in a patient who excreted a large amount of this protein. Labeled homologous Bence Jones protein has been injected into this and other control patients. Excretion of labeled "fragment" has been observed in all. Analysis by peptide mapping and radio-autography of this labeled "fragment" isolated from the urine showed that the invariable half of the Bence Jones protein was not excreted; it seemed thus likely that the invariable half was metabolized to small peptides and free amino acids.
A labeled Bence Jones protein which was excreted without any accompanying "fragment" was injected into the patient who excreted large amounts of "fragment." No excretion of labeled "fragment" was observed. It was thus concluded that the property of being degraded to "fragment" is characteristic of some "fragile" Bence Jones proteins and is not determined by the patient. Incubation with serum or urine of the "fragile" Bence Jones protein failed to produce any "fragment." "Fragments" of Bence Jones proteins are thus most likely formed during excretion of these proteins through the kidney and are products of the catabolism of Bence Jones proteins.