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Adenylic acid, also known as adenosine monophosphate (AMP), is one of the nucleotides that make up the molecular chains of nucleic acids. The American pharmacologist Earl Wilbur Sutherland, Jr. (1915-1974) had discovered it in tissue some years earlier, and in 1960 he worked out its structure. He found that the phosphate group was attached to the rest of the molecule in two different places rather than one. A ring of atoms was thus formed, and Sutherland called it cyclic-AMP.

Cyclic-AMP has a profound effect on the course of metabolism within a cell, since it apparently controls the way hormones can penetrate cells. For this work, Sutherland was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1971.

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Author:Asimov, Isaac
Publication:Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery, Updated ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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