Hormonal effects on substrate incorporation into various cellular fractions such as protein, nucleic acid and mucopeptide, have been investigated to elucidate the reported steroidal retardation of staphylococcal growth. Bacteria suspended in synthetic medium were exposed to C-compounds in the presence and absence of hormones. Progesterone at 40 μg per ml significantly altered the entrance of glutamic acid, lysine and alanine into all cellular fractions of . With progesterone and epiandrosterone, the critical concentrations required to reduce incorporation of C-alanine in staphylococci were 15 and 20 μg per ml respectively. Short-term incubation experiments with alanine revealed that the initial inhibition occurred in the entry of the C-label into the cold TCA fraction. In further studies it was found that progesterone significantly altered the entrance of eight substrates into cellular pools as indicated by studies with the cold TCA fractions. Thus, it appears as if the hormones directly influence the passage of nutrients into bacterial cells with subsequent effects on the incorporation of the nutrients into diverse cellular macromolecules. This may be related to the previously reported antimicrobial effects of hormones on staphylococci.


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