Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Paul Berg Papers
Reproduced with permission of Paul Berg.
Protein Synthesis, Tumor Viruses, and Recombinant DNA, 1959-1975
November 2, 1970
It was nice to hear from you and to learn that you got settled with a place to live so quickly. Now that Martha and the baby
have arrived I am sure it will begin to seem more like home.
It seems to bad that space is at such a premium at the lab and that there will be some delay before you can get started, but
I know that once that happens things should move along quite smoothly.
Moshe will, no doubt, write to you about his recent work with the modified C residue. I was away for a week and have not heard
the latest as yet, but when he saw your letter he told me he was in the midst of trying to finally identify that residue.
I am glad to hear that you are finishing up the sequence paper. I think it would be nice for it to go in as a summarizing
note and wait for the more detailed paper later on.
I have only just begun to get into re-writing of the revertant paper and I doubt that I will be ready before I leave on Wednesday
for Paris. In any case, it's first priority and I will have it done as soon as possible on my return.
Norm has been making very good progress in identifying the glycyl acceptor as in the membrane as a lipopolysaccharide. In
fact, by the use of appropriate mutants blocked in the synthesis of the lipolysaccharide he may be able to pin it down to
a specific sugar residue. The glyX compound is also present in Salmonella membranes and for that system, Norm has many mutants
blocked in various stages of the synthesis of the O-antigen, etc. Things look very interesting there and one wonders whether
amino acylation of sugar residues in the membrane won't turn out toward biological significances for animal as well as
I wondered the other day whether the failure of Hfr strains to express the gly minus phenotype when carrying glyS mutations
might be due to the difference in their cell membrane. For example, if they fail to make the glyX linkage or make it at very
much reduced quantities they might not be so dependent on a high rate of glycyl tRNA synthesis. Norm is trying to resurrect
the appropriate Hfr strains that you found were so peculiar to see if they have normal levels of glyX.
I will arrive in Paris on Thursday, November 5 for the LePetit conference. I hope to see you in London on Monday, November
9. I plan to come to London early in the morning of the 9th and to spend the day at the ICRF. Is there a chance that you and
Martha and the Starks and I could have dinner together somewhere in London that night? I am going to be busy all day Tuesday
and then on Wednesday I plan to spend the day in Cambridge. I will fly back to California on Thursday; so Monday is about
the only time we can get together.
Please pass on my best to George and Mary and to Martha and I will see you next week.