An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

16011 entries, 14068 authors and 1941 subjects. Updated: June 22, 2024

KORNBERG, Roger David

4 entries
  • 13948

Chromatin structure: A repeating unit of histones and DNA.

Science, 184, 868-871, 1974.

While a postdoctoral fellow working with Aaron Klug and Francis Crick at the MRC in the 1970s, Kornberg discovered the nucleosome as the basic protein complex packaging chromosomal DNA in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Chromosomal DNA is often termed "Chromatin" when it is bound to proteins in this manner, reflecting Walther Flemming's discovery that certain structures within the cell nucleus would absorb dyes and become visible under a microscope.

  • 13950

Nucleosomes inhibit the initiation of transcription but allow chain elongation with the displacement of histones.

Cell, 49, 203-210, 1987.

Within the nucleosome Kornberg found that roughly 200 bp of DNA are wrapped around an octamer of histone proteins. With Yahli Lorch, Kornberg showed that a nucleosome on a promoter prevents the initiation of transcription, leading to the recognition of a functional role for the nucleosome, which serves as a general gene repressor. Order of authorship in the original publication: Lorsch, Lapointe, Kornberg.

  • 13949

A novel mediator between activator proteins and the RNA polymerase II transcription apparatus.

Cell, 61, 1209-1215, 1990.

Kornberg discovered that transmission of gene regulatory signals to the RNA polymerase machinery is accomplished by an additional protein complex dubbed the Mediator. As noted by the Nobel Prize committee, "the great complexity of eukaryotic organisms is actually enabled by the fine interplay between tissue-specific substances, enhancers in the DNA and Mediator. The discovery of Mediator is therefore a true milestone in the understanding of the transcription process."

Subjects: BIOLOGY › MOLECULAR BIOLOGY › Protein Synthesis
  • 13982

Architecture of RNA polymerase II and implications for the transcription mechanism.

Science, 288, 640-649, 2000.

Kornberg devoted two decades to the development of methods to visualize the atomic structure of RNA polymerase and its associated protein components. Initially, Kornberg took advantage of expertise with lipid membranes gained from his graduate studies to devise a technique for the formation of two-dimensional protein crystals on lipid bilayers. These 2D crystals could then be analyzed using electron microscopy to derive low-resolution images of the protein's structure. Eventually, Kornberg was able to use X-ray crystallography to solve the 3-dimensional structure of RNA polymerase at atomic resolution. Through these studies, Kornberg created an actual picture of how transcription works at a molecular level. According to the Nobel Prize committee, "the truly revolutionary aspect of the picture Kornberg has created is that it captures the process of transcription in full flow. What we see is an RNA-strand being constructed, and hence the exact positions of the DNA, polymerase and RNA during this process.” With P Cramer , D A Bushnell, J Fu, A L Gnatt, B Maier-Davis, N E Thompson, R R Burgess, A M Edwards, P R David. Digital facsimile from PubMedCentral at this link.

In 2006 Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription."

Subjects: BIOLOGY › MOLECULAR BIOLOGY › Protein Structure, BIOLOGY › MOLECULAR BIOLOGY › Protein Synthesis, NOBEL PRIZES › Nobel Prize in Chemistry