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Irwin Rose
Irwin Rose, c. 2000
Irwin Allan Rose

(1926-07-16)July 16, 1926
DiedJune 2, 2015(2015-06-02) (aged 88)
Alma mater University of Chicago (BS, PhD) NYU (postdoc)
Known for Ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation
SpouseZelda Budenstein [1]
Children4 [1]
Awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2004)
Scientific career
Fields Biology

Irwin Allan Rose (July 16, 1926 – June 2, 2015) was an American biologist. Along with Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. [2] [1] [3]

Education and early life

Rose was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a secular Jewish family, the son of Ella (Greenwald) and Harry Royze, who owned a flooring store. [4] Rose attended Washington State University for one year prior to serving in the Navy during World War II. Upon returning from the war he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1948 and his PhD in biochemistry in 1952, both from the University of Chicago. [5] He did his post-doctoral studies at NYU. [4]

Career and research

Rose served on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine's department of biochemistry from 1954 to 1963. He then joined the Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1963 and stayed there until he retired in 1995. [6] He joined University of Pennsylvania during the 1970s and served as a Professor of Physical Biochemistry. [7] He was a distinguished professor-in-residence in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine at the time his Nobel Prize was announced in 2004. [6]

Irwin (Ernie) trained several postdoctoral research fellows while at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. These included Art Haas, [8] the first to see Ubiquitin chains, Keith Wilkinson, [2] the one to first identify APF-1 as Ubiquitin, and Cecile Pickart. [9]

Published work

When Irwin Rose started on his prizewinning work on ubiquitin he was already very distinguished as an enzymologist.

Classical enzymology

Only a selection of Rose's very extensive work in this field is mentioned here.

In collaboration with Marianne Grunberg-Manago, Saul Korey and Severo Ochoa he investigated the Mg2+- or Mn2+-dependent formation of acetyl-CoA from acetate and ATP catalyzed by acetate kinase, an essential reaction for priming the tricarboxylate cycle, [10] [11] describing the purification of the enzyme and measuring the equilibrium constant of the reaction.

With Edward O'Connell, Rose investigated the mechanisms of the reaction catalyzed by phosphoglucose isomerase [12] and, with Sidney Rieder, of triose phosphate isomerase [13]

With Jessie Warms, he studied the mechanism of hexokinase of sarcoma tumor, [14] finding that it was located in the mitochondria of liver and brain, and bound in accord with a Mg2+-dependent equilibrium.

He had a general interest in the role of magnesium in cells, and studied it on the basis of the equilibrium of the reaction catalyzed by adenylate kinase, [15] a complicated question, because numerous complexes of Mg2+, H+ and K+ with ATP, ADP and AMP need to be taken into account.

Starting from Ogston's theory, Rose [16] was concerned with the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions, investigating various enzymes, [17] and later glutamine synthetase. [18] This was the topic of a review article written with Kenneth Hanson. [19]


After its discovery by Gideon Goldstein and colleagues in 1975, [20] ubiquitin was extensively studied by Rose, with Avram Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover, A. L. Haas and H. Heller, [21] one of many papers on the subject.

Awards and honors

Rose was awarded the Nobel prize in 2004. [4] [22]

Personal life

Rose was married to Zelda Budenstein and had four children. [5] He died on June 2, 2015 at Deerfield, Massachusetts. [5] [23] His widow died in 2016.


  1. ^ a b c Rose, I (11 August 2005). "Early work on the ubiquitin proteasome system, an interview with Irwin Rose". Cell Death & Differentiation. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. 12 (9): 1162–1166. doi: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4401700. ISSN  1350-9047. PMID  16094392.
  2. ^ a b Wilkinson, Keith; Hershko, Avram (2015). "Irwin Allan Rose (1926–2015) Established role of ubiquitin in the destruction of cellular proteins". Nature. 523 (7562): 532. doi: 10.1038/523532a. ISSN  0028-0836. PMID  26223618.
  3. ^ Hershko, A.; Ciechanover, A.; Rose, I.A. (1979), "Resolution of the ATP-dependent proteolytic system from reticulocytes: a component that interacts with ATP", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 76 (7): 3107–3110, Bibcode: 1979PNAS...76.3107H, doi: 10.1073/pnas.76.7.3107, PMC  383772, PMID  290989.
  4. ^ a b c Irwin Rose on Edit this at Wikidata including the Nobel Lecture on December 8, 2004 Ubiquitin at Fox Chase
  5. ^ a b c Chang, Kenneth (2 June 2015). "Irwin A. Rose, Nobel-Winning Biochemist, Dies at 88". New York Times. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b Weil, Martin (3 June 2015). "Irwin Rose, who shared 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry, dies at 88". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Selected Awards and Honors to Penn Faculty and Alumni: Nobel Prizes". University of Pennsylvania Website. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  8. ^ Hershko, A.; Ciechanover, A.; Heller, H.; Haas, A.L.; Rose, I.A. (1980), "Proposed role of ATP in protein breakdown: conjugation of protein with multiple chains of the polypeptide of ATP-dependent proteolysis", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 77 (4): 1783–1786, Bibcode: 1980PNAS...77.1783H, doi: 10.1073/pnas.77.4.1783, PMC  348591, PMID  6990414.
  9. ^ Vogel, Gretchen (2004), "Nobel Prizes. Gold medal from cellular trash", Science (published Oct 15, 2004), vol. 306, no. 5695, pp. 400–1, doi: 10.1126/science.306.5695.400b, PMID  15486272, S2CID  177309829
  10. ^ Rose, Irwin A.; Grunberg-Manago, Marianne; Korey, Saul R.; Ochoa, Severo (1954). "Enzymatic phosphorylation of acetate". J. Biol. Chem. 211 (2): 737–756.
  11. ^ Rose, Irwin A. (1955). "Acetate kinase of bacteria (acetokinase)". Methods Enzymol. 1: 591–595. doi: 10.1016/0076-6879(55)01102-6.
  12. ^ Rose, Irwin A.; O'Connell, E. L. (1959). "Intramolecular hydrogen transfer in phosphoglucose isomerase reaction". J. Biol. Chem. 236 (12): 3086–3092.
  13. ^ Rose, Irwin A.; Rieder, S. V. (1959). "Mechanism of the triosephosphate isomerase reaction". J. Biol. Chem. 234 (5): 1007–1010.
  14. ^ Rose, I. A.; Warms, J. V. B. (1966). "Mitochondrial hexokinase: Release, rebinding, and location". J. Biol. Chem. 242 (7): 1635–1645.
  15. ^ Rose, I.A. (1968). "State of magnesium in cells as estimated from adenylate kinase equilibrium". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 61 (3): 1079–1086. doi: 10.1073/pnas.61.3.1079.
  16. ^ Hanson, K. R.; Rose, I. A. (1963). "The absolute stereochemical course of citric acid biosynthesis". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 50 (5): 981–988. doi: 10.1073/pnas.50.5.981.
  17. ^ Rose, I.A. (1970). "Stereochemistry of pyruvate kinase, pyruvate carboxylase, and malate enzyme reactions". J. Biol. Chem. 245 (22): 6052–6056. doi: 10.1016/S0021-9258(18)62662-6.
  18. ^ Midelfort, C. F.; Rose, Irwin A. (1976). "Stereochemical method for detection of ATP terminal phosphate transfer in enzymatic reactions: glutamine synthetase". J. Biol. Chem. 251 (19): 5881–5887.
  19. ^ Hanson, K. R.; Rose, I. A. (1975). "Interpretations of enzyme reaction stereospecificity". Accounts Chem. Res. 8 (1): 1–10. doi: 10.1021/ar50085a001.
  20. ^ Goldstein G, Scheid M, Hammerling U, Schlesinger DH, Niall HD, Boyse EA (January 1975). "Isolation of a polypeptide that has lymphocyte-differentiating properties and is probably represented universally in living cells". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 72 (1): 11–5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.72.1.11.
  21. ^ Hershko, A; Ciechanover, A; Heller, H; Haas, A L; Rose, I A (1980). "Proposed role of ATP in protein breakdown: conjugation of proteins with multiple chains of the polypeptide of ATP-dependent proteolysis". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 77 (4): 1783–1786. doi: 10.1073/pnas.77.4.1783.
  22. ^ Giles, Jim (2004), "Chemistry Nobel for trio who revealed molecular death-tag", Nature (published Oct 14, 2004), vol. 431, no. 7010, p. 729, Bibcode: 2004Natur.431..729G, doi: 10.1038/431729a, PMID  15483574
  23. ^ ABC News. "2004 Nobel Chemistry Winner Irwin Rose Dies at 88". ABC News.

External links

  • Irwin Rose on Edit this at Wikidata including the Nobel Lecture on December 8, 2004 Ubiquitin at Fox Chase