Architecture of Antibodies

Today

is the 70th birthday of Gerald Edelman, an American biochemist best known for discovering the molecular structure of antibodies, the proteins in blood and lymph that help purge invaders from our bodies. While working at Rockefeller University in 1969, Edelman and his team determined that an antibody's 1300 amino acids are arranged in four chains. The researchers also pinpointed the precise location on the molecule--called the antigen-binding site--that allows it to bind to a specific foreign molecule or pathogen. For this work, Edelman received the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1972, an award that he shared with British biochemist Rodney Porter. Three years later, Edelman and his colleagues went on to discover proteins called cell-adhesion molecules, which glue individual cells together to form tissues.

[Source: Britannica Online]

Posted in Biology