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Stein, William Howard

( Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1972))

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Biography Stein, William Howard
Stein, William Howard (Stein, William) (1911-1980). Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1972) (with K. Anfinsenom and C. Moore).

Born in New York. The second of three children of businessman Fred M. Stein and Beatrice (Borg) Stein. He went to school at Lincoln Teachers College, Columbia University. In the last years of school while attending classes at Phillips Exeter Academy in Andover (Massachusetts).

In 1929 enrolled at Harvard University and 4 years later received a bachelor's degree Chemistry. He continued to study chemistry at Harvard, but in the first year of managed poorly and was ready to give lessons. However, he decided to switch to biochemistry and in 1934 moved to the location in New York, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Find here the incentives for intellectual activity, which he lacked, he said, in his words, 'a short time to learn an enormous amount of material'. In 1938 he defended his thesis on the amino acid content of protein elastin. Although the structure of elastin remained unclear, the thesis Stein was a step forward in understanding its structure.

Then he began to work together with S. Moore at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research under the direction of M. Bergman (Max Bergmann), which later spoke as "one of the greatest experts of XX century in the chemistry of protein '.

During the Second World War, Stein worked on related to the military objectives of the project for the Office of Research and Development U.S..

In 1945 he returned to the Institute, and Director of the Institute, Herbert Spencer Gasser suggested Stein, together with S. Moore to resume work on the analysis of amino acids. Having at its disposal a laboratory, they began to research ribonuclease. Enzyme ribonuclease owns one of the key roles in cellular metabolism, although it is small size - consists of 124 amino acids. These data were published in 1954 with. Moore and Stein.

Moore and Stein were looking for the method of separation that would yield more information about each of the amino acids in the molecule of ribonuclease. First, they stopped on the method of column chromatography, in which the solution to be analyzed is passed through the column, which is placed a substance absorb various molecules with different speeds. Passing solutions of amino acids through the speakers with the attachment of starch, Moore and Stein in 1948 received the first positive results.

However, this process takes about two weeks, and then the researchers turned to a method of ion exchange chromatography, ion-exchange resin which sorts the ions according to their charges and sizes. The method is not only possible to expedite the analytical process, but also provided a clearer division than the method of column chromatography, using starch. Combining both methods, Moore and Stein can analyze the amino acids that make up the different proteins. This process has become even more effective when in 1958, Moore, Stein and D. Spekman developed an automatic method for amino acid analysis, which later became permanently used for research in the field of protein biochemistry.

Chicago firm myasoupakovochnaya 'Armor Incorporation' of Moore and Stein provided samples for analysis, and they started cleaning bovine ribonuclease. Then they split the polypeptide chain of high-purity enzyme preparation on the land, divided the plots with the help of ion exchange chromatography and identified were present in each of these amino.

By 1960 they established the complete sequence of alternating amino acids of ribonuclease. It was the second set of protein sequences and the first of the sequences of enzymes. Due to their findings Moore and Stein were able to identify the location and composition of the components of the active center of ribonuclease, which catalyzes the cleavage of RNA.

Stein became a full professor in 1954.

In 1972 Stein and Moore was awarded half the Nobel Prize 'for his contribution to the understanding of the relation of chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active center of ribonuclease molecule'. The other half was awarded to K. Anfinsenu. 'On the basis of the knowledge structure of large enzyme - Stein and Moore said in their joint Nobel lecture - will develop the fundamental principles of understanding how to' plan 'of nature are the catalysts for certain purposes'.

Stein and Moore worked not only in the study of ribonuclease. Together they investigated the structure and function of another enzyme - pancreatic deoxyribonuclease, which hydrolyzes DNA

. Stein's interest in the dissemination of scientific information contributed to, . a scientist devoted much of his time journal 'Journal of Biological Chemistry', . where from 1958 to 1961 worked as an editor, . In 1962 he was a member of the Editorial Board, . from 1964 to 1968 - deputy editor, . and from 1968 to 1971 - Editor in Chief,

In 1968-1969 Stein was chairman of the State Committee for Biochemistry, USA, trustee Montefiore Hospital and was a Medical Advisory Board of the Jewish University Medical School.

In 1969 the scientist gravely ill. Despite the fact that he developed paralysis, and he was confined to a wheelchair, Stein maintained a keen interest in research until his last days. He died on February 2, 1980 in New York at the age of 68 years.

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