Sutherland, Earl Wilbur, Jr

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sutherland, Earl Wilbur, Jr


Born Nov. 19, 1915, in Burlingame, Kan.; died Mar. 9, 1974, in Miami; Fla. American biochemist and pharmacologist. Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

In 1942, Sutherland graduated from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., where he worked as an associate from 1940 to 1952. From 1953 to 1963 he was a professor and department director at the Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1963 he became a professor of physiology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.

Sutherland did research on intermediate carbohydrate metabolism and the mechanism of the action of hormones and pharmaceuticals on the human organism. In 1957 and 1958 he established that the link between a hormone and carbohydrate exchange within a tissue is mediated by a low-molecular-weight compound of the adenylic acid type. In 1958, Sutherland deciphered the chemical structure of this compound, which was found to be cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP). Subsequently, the role of cyclic AMP and other cyclic nucleotides as mediators between hormones and various processes of intermediate metabolism was established. These processes include the activation of the phosphorylation of proteins, the regulation of cell functions, the alteration of the permeability of biological membranes, and the effect on the transmission of genetic information.

Sutherland was awarded a Nobel prize in 1971.


Cyclic AMP. New York-London, 1971. (With G. A. Robison and R. W. Butcher.)
”Studies on the Mechanism of Hormone Action.” Science, 1972, vol. 177, no. 4047, pp. 401–08.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.