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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1997
Paul D. Boyer, John E. Walker, Jens C. Skou

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Paul D. Boyer - Facts

Paul D. Boyer

Paul D. Boyer

Born: 31 July 1918, Provo, UT, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Prize motivation: "for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)"

Field: biochemistry

Prize share: 1/4

Work

All life requires energy. In both plants and animals, energy is stored and transported by a special molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Photosynthesis and respiration generate a flow of hydrogen ions, which are used to build up ATP molecules with the help of ATP synthase, an enzyme that facilitates the process without being incorporated in the final product. In 1974 Paul Boyer presented a theory explaining how ATP synthase works. The theory was substantiated in 1994 when John Walker used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of ATP synthase.

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