Ernst Knobil, Ph.D (1926-2000)
Ernst Knobil was a pioneer in several aspects of endocrinology. He and his colleagues determined the species specificity of primate growth hormones. By the beginning of the 1960s it was known that non-primate-derived GH molecules (intact or following mild enzyme hydrolysis) were without effect in rhesus monkeys and man, but that purified monkey GH was led to nitrogen retention in the monkey and other mammals (Rec Prog Horm Res 1959; 15:1-36). This was unlike mammalian insulins used for the treatment of thousands with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
The molecular pathophysiology was determined by Souza and colleagues (Natl Acad 1995; 92:959-963) as the incompatibility of a single arginine residue in the hGH receptor with a single histidine residue in non-primate GH.
Submitted by Alan D. Rogol, MD. Ph.D