Citation Classics: This week in 1977

A cardiologist recalls his work developing a non-explosive method for protein separation

Arnold Martin Katz
Nov 4, 2007
Editor's note: Citation Classics Commentaries 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.) The commentaries were written by the first authors of some of the most highly cited studies published between 1961 and 1975. The essay below was published this week in 1977. In the essay, Arnold Martin Katz recalls his 1959 paper describing a modified method for the separation of peptides on filter paper. At the time, Katz was a research fellow at the National Heart Institute at NIH, in the lab of Christian Anfinsen, which focused on protein structure and function. (In 1972, Anfinsen shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Stanford Moore and William Stein for his work showing that a protein's conformational structure is determined by its...
recently. Katz, William Dreyer and Anfinsen adapted the technique to use a non-explosive solvent instead. "We probably saved a few investigators' lives," he said. (Dreyer went on to invent an extremely sensitive method for protein and peptide sequencing in 1977.)According to the Science Citation Index, the 1959 paper was cited 619 times between 1961 and 1975. Since then, it has been cited about 150 times. Though it was a nice technique at the time, Katz said, "science has moved on" to more sophisticated techniques using molecular biology and genetics. Shortly after his two-year fellowship with Anfinsen, Katz moved on from studying protein structure and function to the biochemistry of muscle contractions, making several key contributions to understanding the role of calcium in cardiac function. He also became Chief of Cardiology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, a position he held for 25 years. He retired from both research and medical practice about ten years ago, though he continues to teach, write textbooks and research the history of medicine. The paper: A.M. Katz, W.J. Dreyer, and C.B. Anfinsen, "Peptide separation by two-dimensional chromatography and electrophoresis," , 234:2897-900, 1959.
mail@the-scientist.comEditor's note: this article has been updated from a previous version.Journal of Biological Chemistryhttp://www.the-scientist.com/pubmed/14404782http://nobelprize.org/The Scientisthttp://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53312/http://garfield.library.upenn.edu/

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