Why Was the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded for GPCR Research?

In summary, the conversation discusses the topic of GPCR and its connection to both chemistry and biology. The conversation also mentions the awarding of a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of reprogramming mature cells. This work demonstrates the intersection of chemistry and biology in understanding and manipulating biological phenomena.
  • #1
Serenie
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The topic in the prize is about GPCR and from what i have researched, the research is about biology. I want to know why it was rewarded to the field in chemistry.
 
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  • #2
Because there is no prize for biology?
Work in biochemistry has lead to prizes being awarded in both chemistry and medicine; it is not always clear which category a certain discovery fits into.
 
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  • #3
Serenie said:
The topic in the prize is about GPCR and from what i have researched, the research is about biology. I want to know why it was rewarded to the field in chemistry.
Probably because they were working at the chemistry level with methods methods that were as much chemistry as physilogy or medicine.
Lefkowitz started to use radioactivity in 1968 in order to trace cells' receptors. He attached an iodine isotope to various hormones, and thanks to the radiation, he managed to unveil several receptors, among those a receptor for adrenalin: β-adrenergic receptor. His team of researchers extracted the receptor from its hiding place in the cell wall and gained an initial understanding of how it works.

That same year (2012), the Physiology and Medicine was awarded as shown below:
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent"
 
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Chemistry is about achieving a molecular-level understanding of phenomena in nature and applying that knowledge to build useful new molecules like drugs or materials. Some of the most difficult and important questions in chemistry are in understanding the molecular basis for biological phenomena. The work by Kolbilka and Lefkowitz to understand the molecules and mechanisms involved in GPCR signaling as well as elucidate their atomic structures certainly fits in this category.
 

Related to Why Was the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded for GPCR Research?

1. What is the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012?

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 was awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors".

2. What are G-protein-coupled receptors?

G-protein-coupled receptors are a type of protein found on the surface of cells that play a crucial role in cell communication and the regulation of various physiological functions.

3. Why did Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012?

Lefkowitz and Kobilka were awarded the Nobel Prize for their groundbreaking work in studying the structure and function of G-protein-coupled receptors, which has greatly advanced our understanding of how these receptors work and their importance in various biological processes.

4. What impact did their research have on the field of chemistry?

Their research has had a significant impact on the field of chemistry and biology, as it has provided valuable insights into the structure and function of G-protein-coupled receptors, which are important targets for drug development and play a critical role in various diseases and disorders.

5. How is the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded?

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to individuals or groups who have made outstanding contributions to the field of chemistry. The nominations and selection process for the prize involves a rigorous evaluation by a committee of experts in the field.

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