1. The labelling of intracellular and extracellular serum albumin was studied in liver slices and in whole rats by using new methods for the purification of the protein. 2. The results suggest that a polypeptide precursor is formed that is converted relatively slowly into serum albumin. 3. The effect of liver cell K+has been examined by a double-label method and it is shown that K+accelerates the rate of conversion of ‘precursor’ into albumin. The rate of transit of albumin across the cell membrane appears to be unrelated to the concentration of K+within the cell. 4. The time-course of incorporation of radioactive amino acid into albumin follows a sigmoidal mode. There is a pronounced time-lag before label starts to appear in intracellular albumin, and a further time-lag before it appears in extracellular albumin. 5. In slices the sum of intra- and extra-cellular label rises steadily from 30min after the start of labelling with a pulse of labelled leucine or valine and continues to rise for at least another 60min. This occurs whether labelling is stopped by addition of excess of carrier amino acid or with cycloheximide (100μm) or both. 6. The intracellular albumin content remains constant whether slices are maintained with low or normal intracellular K+concentrations. 7. Specific radioactivities of intracellular albumin (and fractions thereof) and of extracellular albumin were determined in vitro and in vivo. The results show that the intracellular albumin cannot be a precursor of extracellular albumin, unless a very small compartment is turning over much more rapidly than the bulk of the liver albumin or even of the microsomal albumin.

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