Biography of Aaron Ciechanover (1947-VVVV)

Israeli biochemist, born in 1947 in the city of Haifa. It has stood out for their discoveries about which is the system that cells of the human body used to degrade nevertheless useless proteins; the ubiquitin system. Ciechanover is a pioneer in this work and therefore received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2004, shared with two others.

Aaron Ciechanover studied medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the Institute of technology of Israel (Technion), whereby he earned a doctorate in medicine in 1981. At the Institute he was as Professor Avram Hershko, with which he shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry. In the Decade of 1980, both scientists worked together at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where he shared works with the also Nobel Prize in chemistry 2004 Irwin Rose.

Aaron Ciechanover is director of the Rappaprot Family Institute for the research of medical sciences, which belongs to the Technion Institute, and there develops its research and teaching work in the unit of biochemistry.

Most important research

Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko first investigations already showed in the 1970's that cells eliminate proteins in the same degree that produce them, and in the process involving a series of enzymes in a sequential way.

In the Decade of 1980, Ciechanover, Hershko and Rose, showed that the destruction of proteins occurs in a controlled manner, in such a way that the cell makes proteins to be destroyed with a much smaller molecule: ubiquitin; It is what has been called the "Kiss of death". Proteins thus marked are fragmented and eliminated by cellular enzymes called proteases, and ubiquitin is free to be reused in another marking.

Years later, Aaron Ciechanover demonstrated that the degradation of these proteins through ubiquitin system required the presence of an enzyme, tyrosine aminotransferase, which is degraded by the ubiquitin, and also the presence of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the main energy molecule of the cell.

With these discoveries, Ciechanover and his colleagues have also contributed to the understanding, from a molecular point of view, of how cells control processes such as cell cycle, DNA repair, genetic transcription and the State of the proteins that are synthesized again. He has also contributed to the ubiquitin system become a therapeutic target for developing drugs against various diseases, such as multiple myeloma or cystic fibrosis.

Awards and other recognition

Since 1996, Ciechanover is a member of the Council of the European Molecular Biology Organization. In addition to the Nobel Prize, has been awarded numerous awards, such as the Henry Taub (1997) from the Technion Institute in recognition of his research, Wachter (1999) awarded by the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and the Albert Lasker (2000) in recognition of his work on the system ubiquitin for the identification and degradation of proteins. The two recent awards has shared them with the also award Nobel Avram Hershko.

Ciechanover has numerous publications in magazines such as Scientific American, Nature and Cell.