Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fun Fact: Born today, Dr. Edwin Gerhard Krebs

Born today, Dr. Edwin Gerhard Krebs was an American biochemist who shared the 1992 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Edmond H. Fischer. They discovered reversible protein phosphorylation, which is a biochemical process that adds/removes a phosphorylation group (PO4) to a protein or enzyme. Phosphorylation acts as a molecular switch, controlling the activities of proteins in cells. Kinases phosphorylate proteins, while phosphatases remove the phosphate group. Malfunctions in protein phosphorylation have been shown to cause diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Krebs and Fischer first discovered phosphorylation by studying the enzyme glycogen catabolizing phosphorylase and how it affected the production of glucose from glycogen.

Protein phosphorylation can be measured on various BMG LABTECH microplate readers using a variety of methods. One simple and easy method, the Transcreener® assay, measures ADP which is the byproduct of a kinase reaction.
Basic outline of reversible protein phosphorylation. Created By User:Petaholmes

Note:  Edwin Krebs should not be confused with Hans Adolf Krebs who first proposed the Krebs or citric acid cycle.

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