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Leloir, Luis Federico

Summary Article: Leloir, Luis Federico from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide
Argentine chemist who studied glucose metabolism and discovered an alternative mechanism for glycogen synthesis, involving a new enzyme. Later, he connected these reactions to glycogen synthesis in the liver and muscles. He showed that a glucose molecule is added by a process in which the reactive intermediate uridine diphosphateglucose (UDPG) transfers glucose to the growing glycogen chain. He found that galactose is broken down to yield glucose in a similar pathway. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1970 for his discovery of sugar nucleotides and their role in carbohydrate biosynthesis. Gerty Cori had previously demonstrated a pathway in which glycogen (a polysaccharide made from glucose) is both synthesized and converted to other products. But Leloir identified the enzyme glucose-phosphate kinase acting in a separate glycogen synthesis. The product of this reaction, glucose 1,6-bisphosphate, is a coenzyme of...    Continue Reading

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