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The Maxine Singer Papers

Letter from Leon A. Heppel to Maxine Singer pdf (175,242 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Leon A. Heppel to Maxine Singer
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
4 (175,242 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
14 July 1958
[Heppel, Leon A.]
[Singer, Maxine]
Original Repository: Library of Congress. Maxine Singer Papers
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
Biographical Information
Box Number: 18
Folder Number: 1
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1955-2004, n.d.
SubSeries: Alphabetical
Folder: Heppel, Leon A., 1955-ca. 1959, 1968-1988, 2004, n.d.
[1958] Monday July 14
Dear Maxine --
Thanks loads for your lovely letter. I hope you all had a nice time of it at Harper's Ferry. It was nice of you to do this for Adelaide and the boys. They are lonely without me and I am lonely without them.
I'm sure that Danny is finding his new job stimulating and I'm also sure that he is performing very well. Even so, tell him to take it easy and relax. After all, you are having a brutally hot Washington summer, and she ought not to hustle too much. Also you and Russell should take it easy. It's unfortunate that the enzyme purification kept the two of you at the lab the other evening. Long days are exceedingly wearing when there are other obligations to be met, such as meals and housework.
Tonight five of us spent 40 minutes on the roof of this building, with brief interruptions, looking for Sputnik III. We failed to see the satellite, but enjoyed a perfectly lovely evening. The sunsets in Vancouver are absolutely gorgeous. We are ringed by mountains, range upon range. The nearby peaks become deep blue while the more distant pinks take on lighter hues. They appear perfectly flat, like a stage setting, and the effect is very dramatic. The sun went down behind a particularly impressive mountain peak which thereupon seemed to be surrounded by a deep red fire. It could have served for the concluding scene of "Die Walkers"[?].
I enjoy my walks to and from the lab enormously because of this delicious weather, the interesting birds and flowers and because I allow myself no other form of amusement. We have tiny black and yellow birds various kinds of quail and tiny sparrows, also a variety of birds which live in the yellow fields of grain.
The group here are awfully nice and a lively bunch of fellow. We have many of the difficulties
which I encountered in Markham's laboratory. There's no house vacuum and the pressure in water pumps falls at unpredictable moments. Yesterday no less than 3 valuable specimens were lost is H2O from the water pumps sucked back in the flash evaporation. One of the specimens was my own.
The paper you are starting to put together will be complicated but don't call it a dismaying hodge-pudge. I think it will be a valuable contribution even if not the final answer. People are very interested in just what is happening in the polynucleo tide phosphorylase reaction and your observations bring out a lot of interesting facts and suggest where further work is needed. I gave a seminar before people here on these points and aroused considerable interest.
Your Mg^te[?] requirement increasing with PO4 decreasing is very intriguing and probably worth several days to pin down. I admit that later this ground would have to be covered again with pure enzyme but it wouldn't be surprising if the results came out the same.
Some time I'd appreciate a summary of your data of Marianne of Prussells[?], in order to ponder over it and present it here. It's hard to think about because I've forgotten the details.
Thanks for taking care of the business with Audrey Stevens. I'll write to her concerning the risk of coming before she has been awarded a fellowship. Have you had Alan check the matter of what happens when you miss Poly A + ADP? The stimulation observed when these are mixed must surely be
only a stimulation of exchange, because the amount of ADP that I use[?] for add to get this" additive effect" or better was such that phosphorolysis was surely suppressed. That is, you measure exchange at PO4/ADP ration approximately equilibrium conditions. When, now, poly A is added and extra counts observed they surely don't arise from phosphorolysis. So there should be no net ADP synthesis in cases where poly A + ADP show stimulation of incorporation of counts.
The inhibition of ADP (and UDP?) exchange by the opposite polymer is certainly intriguing. Does poly A inhibit exchange for UDP? And if it does, is a similar effect observed with pApApApA?
I'm just now isolating the UMP from 5 grams of iodine[?]. It was a hard 9 days job. Now comes the matter of making the phosphoramidite, reacting it with H3PO4 and isolating UDP. I had thought of making CDP as well, but people around here haven't had experience making CDP and there might be many snags. It's not at[?] interesting research problem and I may chuck it. There are perhaps more important things to do.
On question is whether to take advantage of the pressure of Gobind and Moffatt and try to make ppApH once more, this time by way of the phosphoramidite. Moffatt thinks it can be done on a 5-10 mole. (as adenine) scale, on paper. I don't know. If there's
any pApA around and you'd like to have me try it; you might send it [ . . . ]. Otherwise, let it go.
Enclosed are the elutions from an Ecteola column -- I forgot to enclose these charts in Russell's letter. Note that the peaks aren't bad and recovery of UU was quantitative. I now want to try to recover perta[?], hexa and 7 want cpd. from shorter digestive ions.
Best to Alan and Russell
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