[University of Adelaide. Waite Agricultural Research Institute]
Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Arthur Kornberg Papers
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
"Creating Life in the Test Tube," 1959-1970
[Lab notes on Morton DNA] (June 13, 1961)
July 14, 1961
Forgive me for the delay in replying to your very welcome letter of 14th June. It was indeed exciting news; I am delighted
to know that the DNA works with your enzymes.
We have some DNA from the yeast in progress of purification and it requires one further column chromatography and then I shall
send it to you. There should be about 10 milligrams of this material for you. I hope that this will be ready at the end
of next week and I shall ship it as I did the cytochrome b2.
We have had in mind melting point and pH studies on the DNA from the cytochrome, but I have been rather worried about possible
wrong results due to denaturation. Although end group analysis indicates a minimum weight of about 10,000, when the samples
are stored and then run in the centrifuge the sedimentation coefficient obtained is much greater than expected for such a
small molecular weight. Furthermore, obvious aggregation occurs on storage in dilute salt solution. It seems to me that
this phenomenon would complicate melting point determinations. These are the sort of problems which I would like to discuss
with you when I come to Stanford. I think the best thing to do is to keep you supplied with as much of the DNA as you require
and for us to use what is over here for the physical studies. Recently I have been using acridine orange for staining nuclei.
This gives a brilliant green fluorescence with DNA. To my delight, the crystals of cytochrome b2 also give the same brilliant
green fluorescence when they contain the DNA. We have recently crystallized the enzyme free of DNA and this crystalline variety
shows no fluorescence. Since fluorescence is dependent upon particular spatial relationships, it suggests that the DNA in
the cytochrome is arranged so that acridine orange molecules may bond with it.
Thank you very much for your kind invitation to visit you. I shall be delighted, of course, to give a seminar. Perhaps it
would be appropriate if I talked about our studies on cytochrome b2, but if opportunity allows I would also like to tell you
about our further work on formation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide in nuclei, the properties of the enzyme and our general
picture of the function of the nucleus in the cell.
My present schedule is attached. Unfortunately I have to be back in Adelaide on or about September 3rd for lectures which
I give in the 3rd term here. However, I hope that I may at least have the three days with you at Stanford. I shall write
from London giving you further details. Perhaps you could let me know the best way to reach Palo Alto. I am greatly looking
forward to our reunion.