With a coworker at the Pasteur Institute, Jacob discovered that the genes of a bacterium are arranged linearly in a ring and that the ring can be broken at almost any point. In 1958 Monod and Jacob began to collaborate in studies of the regulation of bacterial enzyme synthesis. One of their first major contributions was the discovery of regulator genes, so called because they control the activities of structural genes. The latter, in turn, not only transmit hereditary characteristics but also serve in the production of enzymes, other proteins, and ribonucleic acid (RNA). (See operon.)
Jacob and Monod also proposed the existence of an RNA messenger, a
partial copy of the gene substance deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), that
carries genetic information to other parts of the cell. They also found
that in a normal cell the balance between regulator and structural genes
enables the cell to adapt to varying conditions. An interruption in
this balance, however, can stimulate the production of new enzymes that
can prove either beneficial or destructive to the cell.
Main Page | About Us | All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners is not affiliated with The Nobel Foundation. External sites are not endorsed or supported by http://www.nobel-winners.com/ Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.