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):
The Synthesis of DNA, 1953-1959
Letter from Arthur Kornberg to H. Gobind Khorana (March 8, 1957)
Letter from H. Gobind Khorana to Arthur Kornberg (March 18, 1957)
Box Number: 24
Folder Number: 24
February 28, 1957
I have wanted to write you a hand-written letter to match the very welcome ones I have received from you, but I can't
seem to carry on such a correspondence any more. We were all delighted that your flight home was so smooth and pleasant and
we certainly miss you in the lab.
The results of the PRPP decomposition are awfully pleasing, and it is our turn here to keep our part of the bargain by supplying
the terminally labeled ATP. I considered two procedures; one a purification of the acetokinase to free it of myokinase, and
the other the use of Sylvy's enzyme provided it was free of myokinase. Since Sylvy was making an active attempt to purify
her enzyme free of myokinase, and since the demonstration of a specific labeling of ATP in the terminal position by hot metaP
would be of research interest to her as well as preparative usefulness to us, I decided to wait for the outcome of her preparation.
Unfortunately, a number of delays have crept in and as of the moment we still don t know how free of myokinase her best prep
is. We are rather hopeful that it will be sufficiently good for the purpose, but now we have to try to make hot metaP again
since an attempt to prepare a micro scale with high specific radioactivity gave us an unsatisfactory result. If all goes
well, I hope that we will have a sample of ATP ready to send you some time next week.
We have been somewhat disappointed in our DNA work since preparations that we had expected would be relative free of nuclease
as judged (up to this point) (by an assay based on the hyperchromic effect), still lead to a decrease in the acid soluble
product upon prolonged incubation. There is also evidence for destruction of substrates despite the removal of GTPase. The
one bright note is that our syntheses go much farther than they used to, and we are able to more than double the amount of
DNA that we start with. There really isn't much more to report, and I will write promptly about the progress of the ATP
preparation. I sure hope that there will be some early occasion for you, and this time Esther and the kids, to come to St.