1. This paper reports a comparison of the kinetics of influx into hamster jejunum of a series of dipeptides of neutral, basic and acidic amino acids, and a tripeptide of neutral amino acids, with those of corresponding free amino acids.
2. Kt, the substrate concentration at which the transport rate is half the maximal transport rate, and Vmax, the maximal transport rate, were more similar from one peptide to another than among amino acids, with the result that, over a wide range of concentrations, rates of influx of individual peptides varied much less than those of amino acids.
3. It is suggested that this may account for the rates of absorption of amino acids being closely related to the amino acid composition of the protein fed, instead of being widely dissimilar as with corresponding mixtures of free amino acids.
4. With neutral amino acids, both Kt and Vmax. fell with increasing length of the side-chain, as observed on many previous occasions. This did not occur with the corresponding homologous dipeptides, which shows that the hypothesis that the apparent affinity for transport is related to the lipophilic properties of the side-chain cannot be applied to peptides.