Albrecht Kossel

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Kossel, Albrecht

(äl`brĕkht kôs`əl), 1853–1927, German physiologist. He was professor at Heidelberg from 1901. He specialized in the physiological chemistry of the cell and its nucleus and of proteins, including nucleins. He discovered the purine adenine and the pyrimidine thymine. For this work he received the 1910 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He wrote Protamines and Histones (tr. 1928).

Kossel, Albrecht


Born Sept. 16, 1853, in Rostock; died July 5, 1927, in Heidelberg. German biochemist. Professor at the Universities of Berlin (from 1887), Marburg (from 1895), and Heidelberg (1901-23).

Kossel’s major works were in the chemistry of proteins and nucleoproteins. He studied protamines and histones and proved that these substances should be classified as proteins. In 1896, Kossel discovered the amino acid histidine in their composition. He set forth one of the earliest theories for protein structure based on the assumption that proteins are composed of amino acids. Kossel received the Nobel Prize in 1910.


Protamine und Histone. Leipzig-Würzburg, 1929.


Jones, M. E. “Albrecht Kossel: A Biographical Sketch.” Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 1953, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 80-97. (Bibliography.)
Felix, K. “Albrecht Kossel, Leben und Werk.” Naturwissenschaften, 1955, vol. 42, no. 17.
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Then the German biochemist Albrecht Kossel (1853-1927) took up the matter.