The following experimental results have been obtained.
1. Native egg albumin treated with iodine and then denatured no longer gives a nitroprusside test or reduces dilute ferricyanide in neutral Duponol PC solution.
2. More iodine is needed to abolish the ferricyanide reduction if the reaction between native egg albumin and iodine is carried out at pH 6.8 than if the reaction is carried out at pH 3.2. At pH 6.8 iodine reacts with tyrosine as well as with cysteine.
3. Cysteine and tryptophane are the only amino acids with reducing groups which are known to react with dilute iodine at pH 3.2 The reducing power of cysteine is abolished by the reaction with iodine, whereas the reducing power of tryptophane remains intact. Pepsin and chymotrypsinogen which contain tryptophane but not cysteine, do not react at all with dilute iodine at pH 3.2.
4. Native egg albumin treated with iodoacetamide at pH 9.0 and then denatured by Duponol PC reduces only 60 per cent as much dilute ferricyanide as egg albumin which has not been treated with iodoacetamide.
5. The SH group is the only protein reducing group which is known to react with iodoacetamide.
The simplest explanation of the new observation that the SH groups of egg albumin can be modified by reactions with the native form of the protein is that the native egg albumin has free and accessible but relatively unreactive SH groups which can react with iodine and iodoacetamide despite the fact that they do not react with ferricyanide, porphyrindin, or nitroprusside.
Preliminary experiments suggested by the results with egg albumin indicate that the tobacco mosaic virus is modified by iodine at pH 2.8 without being inactivated and that the tobacco mosaic and rabbit papilloma viruses are not inactivated by iodoacetamide at pH 8.0.