Structural Biochemistry/Edwin G. Krebs
Edwin G. Krebs, an American biochemist, was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work with Edmond H. Fischer in finding how protein phosphorylation functions as a regulatory mechanism.
Edwin G. Krebs was born on June 6, 1918 in Lansing, Iowa. After his undergraduate studies at University of Illinois, he started his study in medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. There, he was licensed as a physician and gained experience in medical research and later became a medical officer in the Navy. After the Navy, he decided to study biochemistry rather than returning to hospital work. He decided to continue as a biochemist and became an assistant professor at University of Washington, Seattle. There, he met Edmond H. Fischer, who he worked with to discover how protein phosphorylation functions as a regulatory mechanism. Afterwards, he became the founding chairman of the Department of Biological Chemistry at University of California, Davis. He also became the Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington.
Nobel Prize in 1992
After becoming an assistant professor at University of Washington, Seattle in 1948, Krebs met Edmond H. Fischer, who arrived there in 1953. Together they worked on how phosphorylase functions as an enzyme. Through their research, they observed the mechanism of phosphorylation and saw the interconversion that phosphorylase goes through, called the reversible protein phosphorylation. This mechanism works by having a kinase add a phosphate group from ATP to a protein. The protein conforms to begin its function in a biological process. After the protein finishes its function, a phosphatase removes the same phosphate group and the protein conforms to its idle form. Because Krebs and Fischer were able to describe this process that occurs in numerous metabolic processes, they were awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize.
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