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The Biosynthesis of Histidine in Neurospora crassa


Ames, Bruce Nathan (1953) The Biosynthesis of Histidine in Neurospora crassa. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/R38C-Z453.


The biosynthesis of histidine has been investigated using a series of histidine requiring mutants of Neurospora and Penicillium. A general method is given for the isolation of a number of imidazole derivatives that are accumulated by these mutants. Methods of degradation and chromatography have been used to identify with reasonable certainty three crystalline products as 4-(D-erythro-trihydroxypropyl)-imidazole, 4-(2-keto-3-hydroxypropyl)-imidazole and L-4-(2-amino-3-hydroxypropyl)-imidazole (L-histidinol). Evidence is presented to show that two other non-crystalline products are phosphate esters of the trihydroxy and the ketohydroxy compounds. Chromatographic evidence is presented which indicates two other compounds are imidazole acetic acid and 4-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)-imidazole. A chemical synthesis of isomers of 4-(trihydroxypropyl)-imizadole is described.

The trihydroxy, ketohydroxy, and aminohydroxy compounds have been placed in that order leading to histidine, on the basis of the sequence of the mutants and the accumulations by the double mutants. Evidence is discussed suggesting that the phosphate esters of these compounds are more likely to be the true precursors of histidine. A scheme is postulated for the relation of all these substances to histidine synthesis and the possibility that a pentose-5-phosphate may be an early precursor of histidine is discussed.

A method for the paper chromatography of imidazoles is presented and the Rf values of numerous synthetic derivatives are given.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Biochemistry and Chemistry)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biochemistry
Minor Option:Chemistry
Awards:Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award, 1977
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mitchell, Herschel K.
Group:Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1953
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04212003-092730
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1430
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:21 Apr 2003
Last Modified:17 May 2023 18:51

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PDF (Ames_bn_1953.pdf) - Final Version
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