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Biographical Memoirs Volume 68 (1995) / Chapter Skim
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William Cumming Rose
Pages 253-272

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From page 253...
... identification of threonine. The characterization of the last of the amino acids to be found as universal components of proteins lect to his cletermination of the complete essential amino acid requirements of the laboratory rat and culminates!
From page 254...
... until Menclel's cleath. In 1911 Rose left Yale for an instructorship in physiological chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a department then headed by Alonzo Taylor, which was followecl by a short period of acIvancec!
From page 255...
... at Yale and published in 1911, dealt with the role of carbohydrates in the metabolism of these compounds and with the effect of inanition on the creatine content of muscle. In subsequent years Rose en cl his associates macle excellent use of the experimental methods available at the time, chiefly nutritional studies, to explore the metabolic relationship of creatine to creatinine and of both to other nitrogenous substances.
From page 256...
... However, after he developed an interest in amino acid metabolism and nutrition at the University of Illinois, Rose elevated himself wholeheartedly to this subject, which soon brought him international rec.
From page 257...
... While at the University of Texas, Rose continued his work on creatine-creatinine metabolism, as aIreacly mentioned, anti, in order to stucly arginine as a possible precursor of these compounds, clecicleci to prepare a casein hyctrolysate and remove this amino acid as completely as possible. In view of work in another laboratory indicating that arginine and histicline were mutually interchangeable in metabolism, he changed the plan, and after preparing the hy(lrolysate by enzymatic action, followocl by miTct acic!
From page 258...
... was clemonstratect to incluce maximum growth, thus constituting the first successful attempt to rear animals on a ration containing purified amino acids as the sole source of nitrogen. In a 1979 symposium on earlier nutritional discoveries, H
From page 259...
... nose and his associates then determined the quantitative amino acid requirements by establishing the minimum amount needed to support optimal growth in the laboratory rat. In addition, many other interesting findings were made with this species using diets containing purified amino acids.
From page 260...
... Total urinary and fecal nitrogen were determinecI, and by the criterion of nitrogen equilibrium it was established that the twelve amino acids previously shown to be clispensable for animals were also clispensable for humans. The remaining ten amino acicis were then remover!
From page 261...
... In further investigations with Illinois graduate students as subjects, who were grateful in those clays for the free rations, the (loliar a (lay they were paid, and the prospect of seeing their initials in print in Rose's widely read publications, Rose made many other significant finclings. A higher caloric intake is needed to maintain nitrogen equilibrium on diets containing mixtures of purified amino acids as compared to casein, for reasons that are not yet well unclerstoocI.
From page 262...
... in these relatively short term studies when an essential amino acid was removed from the cliet were negative nitrogen balance, a loss of appetite, and a sense of fatigue. The above account, though necessarily brief, may give the reader an idea of how an unexpected fincling macle in a study on the possible relationship of amino acids to creatine synthesis eventually led to discovery of the last of the amino acids occurring in proteins and to establishment of the qualitative and quantitative amino acid requirements of animals ant!
From page 263...
... The results were issued in two comprehensive publications, titled The Evaluation of Protein Nutrition with Emphasis on Amino Acid Proportionalities and The Evaluation of Protein Nutrition. PERSONAL TRAITS Despite his many professional duties and dedication to his research and his students, Rose found time for other interests.
From page 264...
... in the Early History of American Biochemistry,"4 Rose describes his association with scientists responsible for the early development of this field and provides warm insight into their contributions and personal characteristics. The final paragraph of that article is quoted here because of the remarkable insight it provides: Because of the early start of the Yale laboratories, and the superior genius of Samuel W
From page 265...
... No mention of his remarkable ability as a teacher would be complete without reference to the weekly graduate student seminars and teas at which he presided, imparting scientific knowledge and on some occasions entertaining his audience as an incomparable raconteur. His students were somewhat in awe of the professor, perhaps wondering whether they could meet his exacting stand~rd.s or could horse to emulate the seeming ease with which he succeeded in all of his professional endeavors.
From page 266...
... faculty member of the division, macle the following remarks when he served in 1981 as moderator of "Conversations with William C Rose," a tape-recorclec3 group discussion: Absolutely uncompromising in all matters involving integrity and sincerity, he has personified many of those qualities of loyalty, unselfishness, and friendliness which mark the unusual individual.
From page 267...
... when presented with a handsome bronze plaque announcing the establishment of the William C Rose Lectureship in Biochemistry and Nutrition "on the occasion of his 90th birthday and presented with love, admiration and gratitude by his family of former students and colleagues." The plaque showed, in aciclition to his likeness and a sketch of the Noyes Laboratory, the structures of the essential amino acids and the stereochemistry and crystal structure of threonine, with a quotation and chart from his classical 1935 paper publishecl in The fournal of Biological Chemistry: The data demonstrate conclusively that the crystalline compound is the new essential we have been endeavoring to isolate for several years.
From page 268...
... THE AUTHORS ARE GRATEFUL to Leland M Park for material from the Davidson College Library Archives, Davidson, North Carolina, that deals with Rose's early days there and his longstanding relationship with the college; to Ellen Handler and Robert T
From page 269...
... Feeding experiments with mixtures of highly purified amino acids.
From page 270...
... Womack. Comparative growth on diets containing ten and nineteen amino acids, with further observations upon the role of glutamic and aspartic acids.
From page 271...
... The amino acid requirements of man.


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