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The molecular path unfolds 

The molecular path unfolds
Chapter:
The molecular path unfolds
Author(s):

Anthony Rees

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199646579.003.0006
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date: 30 March 2020

The breakthrough advances in protein sequencing by Sanger would be the key that opened the protein structure box. The purification and amino acid sequencing of antibodies, determined by Porter and Edelman, explained how they were assembled as multi-chain proteins. The importance of myeloma proteins in delineating the variable and constant components and the complementary roles of the heavy and light chains in antigen recognition would become widely discussed. Physical chemistry would again raise its head, with Anfinsen and Tanford leading the way. Explanations of the variable-constant protein chain dichotomy entered the stage with the antibody protein chemists not hesitant to dip their inexpert fingers into the genetic pool that already contained exotic theories of antibody diversity, some of which were still firmly wedded to the ‘protein as gene’ theory.

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