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An award for cell biology.

Simon SM - J. Cell Biol. (1999)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA. simon@rockvax.rockefeller.edu

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This remark, made by Günter Blobel on American television after winning the 1999 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, was hardly uncharacteristic: the six-foot, snowy-haired Rockefeller University professor was typically, generously, extending his prize to all of us who toil 'midst the microscopes... George Palade, Phil Siekevitz, David Sabatini, and Colvin Redman had just demonstrated that secretory proteins and cytosolic proteins start their synthesis from a common pool of ribosomes, but secretory proteins start to translocate across the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum as they are being made... However, it allowed Blobel to make a number of very clear predictions that could be tested experimentally: 1, the signal for targeting a protein to the endoplasmic reticulum, and therefore secretion, was an amino terminal extension, a signal sequence; 2, there are cytosolic factors that engage the signal sequence; 3, there are proteins in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum involved in the translocation; and 4, proteins translocate across the membrane through aqueous protein-conducting channels... Blobel used many of the known sources of endoplasmic reticulum, and they always inhibited protein synthesis... During his 30 years at Rockefeller, Blobel has devoted his efforts to rebuilding the cell, asking how these separate fractionated pieces work together... As a result, he has contributed a molecular understanding of how cells direct their bricks and girders to make their own beautiful structures... In what is a most fitting twist of fate, the money that Albert Nobel earned from the creation of dynamite is now being used to rectify the acts of war: in a Nobel gesture, Blobel has contributed his prize money to the rebuilding of two magnificent structures, the Frauenkirche church and the synagogue that used to illuminate the historic center of Dresden... Blobel has also contributed to building the structure of the cell biology community... He has served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology and as an Associate Editor at The Journal of Cell Biology... The community of cell biologists is populated by many scientists who have trained in his lab and who still pursue the cell biology questions that first captivated them when working with Blobel... Blobel has received scores of prestigious scientific awards, but, in keeping with his down-to-earth persona, has maintained an irreverent attitude toward honorifics... Once, a friend's infant was crawling around his office... The child yanked a volume of the Harvey Society Lecture Series down from the shelf.

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Model for the function of SRP in the translocation process. Reprinted from Walter, P., and G. Blobel. 1981. Translocation of proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum. III. Signal recognition protein (SRP) causes signal sequence-dependent and site-specific arrest of chain elongation that is released by microsomal membranes. J. Cell Biol. 91:557–561.
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Figure 1: Model for the function of SRP in the translocation process. Reprinted from Walter, P., and G. Blobel. 1981. Translocation of proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum. III. Signal recognition protein (SRP) causes signal sequence-dependent and site-specific arrest of chain elongation that is released by microsomal membranes. J. Cell Biol. 91:557–561.

Mentions: Thanks to the work of Blobel and his colleagues, the model was deepened by studies on biochemical and biophysical mechanisms: the cytosolic factor for targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum, the signal recognition particle, its receptor, and the signal peptidase were identified (see Fig. 1). Their functions were elucidated and the protein-conducting channels were characterized. The model was widened to include the synthesis of membrane proteins and the targeting of proteins to other membranes, such as the mitochondria, the chloroplast, the bacterial inner membrane, as well as transcytosis and import and export from the nucleus. In the process, Blobel evolved the hypothesis into a general model for the topogenesis of membrane proteins.


An award for cell biology.

Simon SM - J. Cell Biol. (1999)

Model for the function of SRP in the translocation process. Reprinted from Walter, P., and G. Blobel. 1981. Translocation of proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum. III. Signal recognition protein (SRP) causes signal sequence-dependent and site-specific arrest of chain elongation that is released by microsomal membranes. J. Cell Biol. 91:557–561.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2169337&req=5

Figure 1: Model for the function of SRP in the translocation process. Reprinted from Walter, P., and G. Blobel. 1981. Translocation of proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum. III. Signal recognition protein (SRP) causes signal sequence-dependent and site-specific arrest of chain elongation that is released by microsomal membranes. J. Cell Biol. 91:557–561.
Mentions: Thanks to the work of Blobel and his colleagues, the model was deepened by studies on biochemical and biophysical mechanisms: the cytosolic factor for targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum, the signal recognition particle, its receptor, and the signal peptidase were identified (see Fig. 1). Their functions were elucidated and the protein-conducting channels were characterized. The model was widened to include the synthesis of membrane proteins and the targeting of proteins to other membranes, such as the mitochondria, the chloroplast, the bacterial inner membrane, as well as transcytosis and import and export from the nucleus. In the process, Blobel evolved the hypothesis into a general model for the topogenesis of membrane proteins.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA. simon@rockvax.rockefeller.edu

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

This remark, made by Günter Blobel on American television after winning the 1999 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, was hardly uncharacteristic: the six-foot, snowy-haired Rockefeller University professor was typically, generously, extending his prize to all of us who toil 'midst the microscopes... George Palade, Phil Siekevitz, David Sabatini, and Colvin Redman had just demonstrated that secretory proteins and cytosolic proteins start their synthesis from a common pool of ribosomes, but secretory proteins start to translocate across the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum as they are being made... However, it allowed Blobel to make a number of very clear predictions that could be tested experimentally: 1, the signal for targeting a protein to the endoplasmic reticulum, and therefore secretion, was an amino terminal extension, a signal sequence; 2, there are cytosolic factors that engage the signal sequence; 3, there are proteins in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum involved in the translocation; and 4, proteins translocate across the membrane through aqueous protein-conducting channels... Blobel used many of the known sources of endoplasmic reticulum, and they always inhibited protein synthesis... During his 30 years at Rockefeller, Blobel has devoted his efforts to rebuilding the cell, asking how these separate fractionated pieces work together... As a result, he has contributed a molecular understanding of how cells direct their bricks and girders to make their own beautiful structures... In what is a most fitting twist of fate, the money that Albert Nobel earned from the creation of dynamite is now being used to rectify the acts of war: in a Nobel gesture, Blobel has contributed his prize money to the rebuilding of two magnificent structures, the Frauenkirche church and the synagogue that used to illuminate the historic center of Dresden... Blobel has also contributed to building the structure of the cell biology community... He has served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology and as an Associate Editor at The Journal of Cell Biology... The community of cell biologists is populated by many scientists who have trained in his lab and who still pursue the cell biology questions that first captivated them when working with Blobel... Blobel has received scores of prestigious scientific awards, but, in keeping with his down-to-earth persona, has maintained an irreverent attitude toward honorifics... Once, a friend's infant was crawling around his office... The child yanked a volume of the Harvey Society Lecture Series down from the shelf.

Show MeSH