From (L) Rothman, Schekman and Südhof
New York - Arab Today
Three cell biologists at American universities won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for their work on how cells transport molecules, a system that involves small packages called vesicles that get the molecules where they need to go, The New York Times reported.
The scientists, James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof, “have discovered the molecular principles that govern how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell,” according to a news release from the Nobel Foundation.
Dr. Schekman, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley, identified the genes that regulate cells’ transportation system, originally studying yeast cells with faulty systems, where vesicles piled up in places they were not supposed to be.
Dr. Rothman, a Yale professor who is currently chairman of the department of cell biology there, discovered a protein complex that allows vesicles to dock and fuse with the membranes they are targeting.
Dr. Südhof, who is originally from Germany, is a professor of molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His work on how nerve cells communicate with one another in the brain built on the machinery discovered by Drs. Schekman and Rothman by pinpointing how vesicles know exactly when to release their molecular contents.