Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday's Molecule #22

 
Name this molecule. This is very easy for any student who's ever taken a biochemistry course. The goal here is to show everyone else just how important this molecule is for understanding basic biochemistry.

As usual, there's a connection between Monday's molecule and this Wednesday's Nobel Laureate. This one's hard because the connection isn't obvious. (Hint: It's related to last week's molecule and Nobel Laureate.) The prize (free lunch) goes to the person who correctly identifies both the molecule and the Nobel Laureate. (Previous free lunch winners are ineligible for one month from the time they first won.)

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6 comments :

  1. Pyruvate of course, and since the Nobelist is non-obvious I'm going to guess Ochoa who worked on the Krebs cycle before his Nobel-winning work on the genetic code.

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  2. Pyruvate, the nobel laureate being Feodor Lynen. He showed that pyruvic acid reacts with CoA to form acetyl CoA, which then reacts with oxaloacetic acid to form citric acid.
    Citric acid of course is one of the molecules involved in the citric acid
    cycle.

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  3. Lynen doesn't seem at all like a non-obvious connection with the molecule, though.

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  4. Hmm, the question was edited. My first choice was Meyerhof, of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway fame, but given the extra conditions...I'd agree with Ochoa. The chemical name would be 2-oxopropanoate, I believe, because it's ionised?

    Hah, I totally slept in once I saw the precondition that I couldn't get lunch again for a month. At first it seemed disingenuous to me to offer lunch anyway, because most people can't collect, but I know better: clearly, professors are paid pittances and run mainly on academic and pedagogical fervour! Offering lunch, then, is a putatively generous gesture which redounds on his image while still leaving pocket change for tasty delicious books. Ingenious! I'm almost tempted to offer Mr Moran lunch chez my dining hall because of my unique comprehension of his situation. How's that for out-of-the-box thinking? :)

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  5. Dunbar,

    I'm almost tempted to offer Mr Moran lunch chez my dining hall because of my unique comprehension of his situation. How's that for out-of-the-box thinking? :)

    I gratefully accept. Thursday?

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  6. anonymous says,

    Pyruvate, the nobel laureate being Feodor Lynen. He showed that pyruvic acid reacts with CoA to form acetyl CoA, which then reacts with oxaloacetic acid to form citric acid.

    Fritz Lipmann, last week's Nobel Laureate, is usually credited with discovering acetyl-CoA. He didn't know the exact nature of the interaction. It was Feodor Lynen who subsequently showed that acetate was linked to CoA by through a sulfhydride group. Lynen's Nobel Prize was for lipid synthesis. We'll cover that another time.

    Today's Nobel Laureate is much more indirect than that.

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