Ascorbic Acid: Cofactor in Rabbit Olfactory Preparations

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Science  29 Aug 1969:
Vol. 165, Issue 3896, pp. 901-902
DOI: 10.1126/science.165.3896.901


A stimulant-induced decrease in absorbance at 267 nanometers in preparations from rabbit olfactory epithelium requires ascorbic acid as a cofactor. Vitamin C is bound to proteins in the olfactory mucosa in vivo. When the stimulant. 3,7-dimethyl-6-octen-3-ol interacts with olfactory proteins, it triggers a change in protein conformation which renders ascorbic acid available for oxidation. The specific decrease in absorbance at 267 nanometers is produced when the "freed" ascorbic acid is oxidized.