In this letter, Kornberg's former mentor Severo Ochoa thanked him for a sample of TPN (triphosphopyridine nucleotide)
and discussed his ongoing work on citrate synthesis.
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1949-03-29 (March 29, 1949)
New York University. College of Medicine
Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Arthur Kornberg Papers
Courtesy of Arthur Kornberg.
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From Physician to Enzyme Hunter, 1942-1953
March 29, 1949
Please accept my best, if delayed, thanks for the sample of TPN which arrived safely in due course. I am also glad to have
the details of the counter current purification, it looks pretty good. We are about to make a batch of the 1st acetone precipitate
and will try counter current on it. There is a machine in Chemistry.
We got a copy of Rosenthal's acetoacetic acid method. Unfortunately, oxalacetic reacts as much as acetoacetic and, for
determination of the latter in the presence of the former, the method may require a special study. However, it will be quite
useful for acetoacetic in the absence of interfering substances and I am glad to have it.
There has not been much progress recently in the citrate synthesis. We found E. coli extracts very active in forming citrate
from acetate + ATP + OAA. There seemed to be a funny catalytic regeneration of ATP which disappeared after rough fractionation
with AmSO4 and prolonged dialysis. In view of this, I am not sure that earlier experiments with extracts indicating synthesis
from the product of the phosphoroclastic reaction can be interpreted in that way. I guess we shall have to isolate (or try
to isolate) the "active" acetate formed both by the phosphoroclastic reaction and by acetate + ATP. Of course we
should like to get evidence for the assumed formation of citryl phosphate. We sent a note to J.B.C. with the results on pigeon
I was very pleased that you found good activity in pig liver for the NMN + ATP --> DPN reaction and I am sure you will
be able to demonstrate the participation of pyro-P without too much trouble.
I know exactly how you feel about sitting at a desk all day. I am in the same boat working on the article for Sumner &
Myrback's book. You should not be too unhappy about it, however, since that gives you a chance to write up your papers.
We shall be seeing each other soon and I look forward to it. Meanwhile my best to everybody in the lab with our fondest regards
to the Kornberg family.