In this letter to his former mentor Carl Cori, Kornberg described his recent success with a new enzyme, and some insights
about the role of inorganic pyrophosphate in metabolic processes, and asked Cori to review the report he was preparing on
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1948-10-06 (October 6, 1948)
Cori, Carl F.
Washington University School of Medicine
Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Arthur Kornberg Papers
Reproduced with permission of Arthur Kornberg.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
From Physician to Enzyme Hunter, 1942-1953
October 6, 1948
Dear Dr. Cori:
I've wanted to write for some time to thank you for spending more time on the DPN Pyrophosphatase manuscript. It was accepted
and will appear in the November issue.
During the past two months I have been working with a system which has me rather excited. Starting with a lebedewsaft from
ale yeast, it was possible to purify an enzyme which mediates the reaction: Nicotinamide Mononucleotide + ATP--DPN + Inorganic
pyrophosphate. The reaction is readily reversible with the equilibrium slightly to the left. In the purified system, ADP
and nicotinamide nucleotide are inactive. Inorganic pyro was estimated as a manganese salt. No orthophosphate appears and
there is no change in acid-labile phosphate.
It would seem from these results that inorganic pyro is a more "physiologic" substance than we thought, and I am anxious
to have your advice for future work. I wonder whether to return immediately to kidney granules or whether to try to ascertain
the presence of an analogous coupling of flavin nucleotides with phosphorylation in yeast.
Severo Ochoa was here two weeks ago and advised me to send off a note about this work and now I'm inclined to agree. I
would like to further purify the enzyme which is something of an engineering problem and to obtain a better equilibrium constant
which may be complicated by complex formation of Mg with pyrophosphate. Would you mind reading the note when it is ready?
I will appreciate it immensely.
Our fond regards to you and Mrs. Cori, and please tell her we're expecting a baby girl next month.
P.S. Baranowski dropped in this morning and it was so pleasant to hear that Mrs. Cori was back and looked so well. He told
about the happy year he had in St. Louis and it made me feel lonesome for it.