ASBMB Nobel Prize Winners

1964 – Feodor Lynen



Feodor Lynen (1911-1979) was awarded half the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his discoveries concerning the mechanism and regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.While studying the intermediary metabolism in cells -- in which energy is extracted from cellular nutrients and used to build cellular components -- and the mechanisms of metabolic regulation, he found that acetylation of coenzyme A is the first step in a chain of reactions leading to the formation of cholesterol and fatty acids. Lynen also studied the Pasteur effect (the inhibiting effect of oxygen on yeast fermentation); acetic acid degradation in yeast; the chemical structure of acetic acid in activated isoprene, activated carboxylic acid, and cytohaemin; the degradation of fatty acids and formation of acetoacetic acid; the degradation of tartaric acid; and the biosynthesis of cysteine, terpenes, rubber, and fatty acids.