LMB 365 – Day 44

Max Perutz’s landmark paper on the structure of haemoglobin was published on this day in 1960. Day 44 of #LMB365 shows the model built to represent this work. The red discs represent the haem groups, which carry the oxygen in blood. Haemoglobin has four haem groups. Despite this breakthrough, in the paper Max noted, “little can be said as yet about the relation between structure and function. Whatever interaction between the haem groups exists must be of a subtle and indirect kind that we cannot yet guess.” For this work Max was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Reference: M.F.Perutz, M.G.Rossmann, A.F.Cullis, H.Muirhead, G.Will, A.C.T.North. Structure of haemoglobin. A three-dimensional Fourier synthesis at 5.5-Angstroms resolution, obtained by X-ray analysis. Nature 185: 416-422, 13 February 1960.