Cech , Thomas Robert


Cech , Thomas Robert
(1947–) American chemist
Chicago-born Cech was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, where he gained his PhD in 1975. He then joined the faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he became professor of chemistry in 1983.
In 1977 Philip Sharp discovered long stretches of non-coding DNA, later called ‘introns’. In 1982 Cech began to investigate how these supposedly redundant sequences could be removed from the RNA molecule after it had been copied from the DNA template. For such a complex process to happen so rapidly it must, it seemed, be catalyzed by an enzyme. Since the first enzyme to be synthesized (by James Sumner in 1926) had turned out to be a protein, and since all of the hundreds of other cellular enzymes had also turned out to be proteins, Cech confidently began to search for the protein enzyme responsible for snipping introns from RNA molecules.
He worked with ribosomal RNA (rRNA) of the protozoaTetrahymena thermophilia. He began with some unspliced rRNA and some protozoa nuclei mixed together in vitro. He assumed that the nuclear enzymes would catalyze the splicing. But, although the RNA introns were indeed neatly snipped away, none of the nuclear enzymes appeared to have been used. At first Cech assumed that the RNA itself harbored the protein enzyme responsible. To eliminate this possibility Cech synthesized his own pre-rRNA from a recombinant DNA template. The result was a viable but artificial rRNA, which, never having been in contact with a cell, could not possibly contain any cellular splicing enzymes. Despite this the introns were still removed.
RNA, Cech concluded in 1982, must be self-splicing. It acted like an enzyme in catalyzing a specific reaction, at a greatly accelerated rate, yet, unlike an enzyme, it operated upon itself. To mark the difference Cech proposed the name ‘ribozyme’.
Confirmation of Cech's researches soon came from the work of Sidney Altman on ribonuclease. For this work, Cech and Altman shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for chemistry.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cech, Thomas Robert — ▪ American scientist born Dec. 8, 1947, Chicago, Ill., U.S.       American biochemist and molecular biologist who, with Sidney Altman (Altman, Sidney), was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discoveries concerning RNA… …   Universalium

  • Cech, Thomas (Robert) — born Dec. 8, 1947, Chicago, Ill., U.S. U.S. biochemist, molecular biologist, and Nobel laureate. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1975. In 1982 he became the first to show that an RNA molecule could catalyze a chemical reaction. He and… …   Universalium

  • Cech, Thomas (Robert) — (n. 8 dic. 1947, Chicago, Ill., EE.UU.). Bioquímico y biólogo molecular estadounidense. Obtuvo su Ph.D. en la Universidad de California en Berkeley, en 1975. Fue el primero en demostrar que una molécula de ARN podía catalizar una reacción química …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Thomas Robert Cech — (8 décembre 1947 à Chicago) est un chimiste américain. Il est colauréat avec Sidney Altman du prix Nobel de chimie de 1989 pour « la découverte des propriétés catalytiques de l ARN[ …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chemienobelpreis 1989: Sidney Altman — Thomas Robert Cech —   Die beiden amerikanischen Chemiker erhielten den Nobelpreis für »die Entdeckung der katalytischen Eigenschaften von Ribonucleinsäure«.    Biografien   Sidney Altman * Montreal (Kanada) 8. 5. 1939; seit 1984 US Bürgerschaft, 1967 Promotion an… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cech — Thomas Robert …   Scientists

  • Thomas Cech — Thomas Robert Cech Thomas Robert Cech Thomas Robert Cech, né le 8 décembre 1947 à Chicago, est un chimiste américain. En 1989, il obtint conjointement avec Sidney Altman le prix Nobel de chimie pour la découverte des propriétés catalytiques de l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thomas R. Cech — Thomas Robert Cech Thomas Robert Cech Thomas Robert Cech, né le 8 décembre 1947 à Chicago, est un chimiste américain. En 1989, il obtint conjointement avec Sidney Altman le prix Nobel de chimie pour la découverte des propriétés catalytiques de l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thomas R. Cech — Thomas R. Cech. Thomas Robert Cech (Chicago, EUA 1947) es un químico, bioquímico y profesor universitario estadounidense galardonado con el Premio Nobel de Química del año 1989. Biografía Cuando era pequeño su familia se trasladó a la ciudad de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thomas — Thomas, Albert Thomas, André Antoine Thomas, Ch. L. Ambroise Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, Theodore * * * (as used in expressions) Adès, Thomas …   Enciclopedia Universal


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.