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50 Years Ago in Biochemistry

A biochemist recalls his discovery of antibiotics that disrupt a cell's metabolic processes

Henry A. Lardy
Editor's note: Citation Classics Commentaries were written by the authors of some of the studies that were the most highly cited papers between 1961 and 1975. The essays were originally published between 1977 and 1993 in Current Contents, a publication of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now Thomson Scientific. (ISI was founded by Eugene Garfield, also the founder of The Scientist.) In this essay, published in 1979, biochemist Henry Lardy recalls a 1958 paper describing his discovery of three antibiotics that could be used to study cellular respiration. One of the three antibiotics Lardy identified was oligomycin, which inhibits ATP hydrolysis. Soon after the paper was published, he became inundated with requests for the antibiotic from researchers working in the "nebulous" field of oxidative phosphorylation. According to the ISI database, the paper has been cited more than 700 times, and was the third most highly cited paper of Lardy's...
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Arch. Biochem. Biophys.Ann. Rev. Biochem.J. Biol. Chem.Arch. Biochem.

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