Trace metals were measured by neutron-activation analyses in purified nucleic acids and histone(s) of lymphocytes from patients with acute lymphocytic leukaemia or infectious mononucleosis and from normal donor DNA isolated from lymphocytes of a patient with infectious mononucleosis and a normal donor showed a high a high content of Cr2+, Sb2+, Fe2+, and Zn2+, whereas DNA of lymphoblasts from a patient with acute lymphocytic leukaemia had a lower content of these trace metals, but the Co2+ content was 20-fold higher than in DNA or normal donor lymphocytic cells. Total histones from leukaemic cells had higher contents of most of the trace metals except for Zn2+, which was present in lesser concentration than in histones from normal donor lymphocytic cells. Lysine-rich (F1) histones showed lower contents of Cr2+, Sb2+ and Co2+, whereas arginine-rich (F3) histones had significantly higher contents of these trace metals. These observations may be of interest in that F3 histones more effectively inhibit RNA synthesis in human lymphocytic cells than do other species of histones.

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