1. Distribution of Nτ-methylhistidine (3-methylhistidine; Me-His) among organs and tissues in cattle was determined. From the amount of Me-His in skeletal muscle protein and daily urinary output of Me-His, fractional catabolic and synthetic rates of myofibrillar proteins of skeletal muscle during growth were calculated.
2. More than 93.4% of the total Me-His (35.6 mg/kg body-weight) in the analysed cattle tissues occurred in skeletal muscle protein. The amount of Me-His in tissues other than skeletal muscle was relatively small. Daily urinary excretion of Me-His in the cattle which were fed on hay and concentrate was 135 mg at a growing stage of 217 kg body-weight and 145 mg at a stage of 312 kg. The Me-His content of foodstuffs was also carefully checked in the present investigation. Assuming that absorbed dietary Me-His in quantitatively excreted in the urine without delay, the contribution of Me-His in foodstuffs was calculated to be approximately 30 % of the urinary Me-His. Rumen protozoa and bacteria contained little Me-His.
3. From these results, fractional catabolic and synthetic rates of myofibrillar proteins of the cattle at a growing stage of 217 kg body-weight were calculated to be 1.22%/d (half-life 56 d) and 2.73%/d, while these rates at a stage of 312 kg body-weight were 1.02%/d (half-life 67 d) and 1.51%/d respectively. These values were calculated on the same assumptions as those for the rat (Young et al. 1972; Funabiki et al. 1976). Of the Me-His present in foodstuffs 94% was tentatively assumed to be excreted into urine.