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Moore, Stanford

amino acids acid column

(1913–82) US biochemist: co-inventor of method for analysing amino acids.

Moore spent his career at the Rockefeller Institute, having graduated in chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1935 and followed this with a PhD from Wisconsin. A central problem in protein chemistry is to determine which amino acids are present in a protein chain, and in what amount. Only when this is known can work begin on the sequence of the amino acids in the chain. With W Stein (1911–80), Moore devised in the early 1950s a general method of analysis. First, the protein is hydrolysed completely (eg by warm acid) to give a mixture of amino acids. These are then separated from one another by applying the mixture to the top of a column of ion exchange resin and then eluting the column with a series of buffer solutions of progressively changing acidity. The amino acids emerge separately from the column, can be identified by their rate of emergence, and the quantity of each is measured by the intensity of the blue colour it gives on reaction with ninhydrin. By 1958 Moore and Stein had devised an ingenious automated analyser to carry out all these steps on a small sample. The problem of finding the sequence of amino acid groups in the chain can then be attacked by methods such as those used by in his work on insulin (1905). The Moore–Stein analytical method was soon used for cases varying from the simple heptapeptide evolidine (seven amino acid groups) to the enzyme ribonuclease (124 amino acid groups). Moore, Stein and shared the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1972.

Morales, Evo - President of Bolivia, Career, Sidelights [next] [back] Moore, Rudy Ray (1937–)

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