Avram Hershko

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Avram Hershko
Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Nobel Laureate Avram Hershko.jpg
Herskó Ferenc

(1937-12-31) 31 December 1937 (age 82)
Karcag, Hungary
NationalityIsrael Switzerland
Known forubiquitin-mediated protein degradation
Judith Leibowitz (m. 1963)
AwardsNobel Prize in Chemistry (2004)
Scientific career

Avram Hershko (Hebrew: אברהם הרשקו‎; born 31 December 1937) is a Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry.


Hershko was born Herskó Ferenc in Karcag, Hungary, the son of Shoshana Margit and Moshe Hershko, both teachers.[1] During the second world war, his father was forced into labor service in the Hungarian army and then taken as a prisoner by the Soviet army. For years Avram's family hadn't known anything about what happen to his father. Avram, his mother and older brother were put in a ghetto in Szolnok. At the final days of the ghetto, most Jews were sent to their deaths in Auschwitz, but Avram and his family managed to board trains that took them to a concentration camp in Austria, were they were forced into labor until the end of the war. Avram and his mother survived the war and returned to their home. His father returned as well, 4 years since they had seen him. [2]

Hershko and his family emigrated to Israel in 1950 and settled in Jerusalem. He received his M.D. in 1965 and his Ph.D in 1969 from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion in Haifa.

Along with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway has a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis of cells and is believed to be involved in the development and progression of diseases such as cancer, muscular and neurological diseases, and immune and inflammatory responses.

His contributions to science directly helped cure one of his long-time friends of cancer. [3]

Honours and awards[edit]


  • Hershko, A., Ciechanover, A., Heller, H., Haas, A.L., and 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, 1783–1786.
  • Hershko, A., Heller, H., Elias, S. and Ciechanover, A. (1983) Components of ubiquitin-protein ligase system: resolution, affinity purification and role in protein breakdown. J. Biol. Chem. 258, 8206–8214.
  • Hershko, A., Leshinsky, E., Ganoth, D. and Heller, H. (1984) ATP-dependent degradation of ubiquitin-protein conjugates. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81, 1619–1623.
  • Hershko, A., Heller, H., Eytan, E. and Reiss, Y. (1986) The protein substrate binding site of the ubiquitin-protein ligase system. J. Biol. Chem. 261, 11992-11999.
  • Ganoth, D., Leshinsky, E., Eytan, E., and Hershko, A. (1988) A multicomponent system that degrades proteins conjugated to ubiquitin. Resolution of components and evidence for ATP-dependent complex formation. J. Biol. Chem. 263, 12412-1241.
  • Sudakin, V., Ganoth, D., Dahan, A., Heller, H., Hershko, J., Luca, F.C., Ruderman, J.V. and Hershko, A. (1995). The cyclosome, a large complex containing cyclin-selective ubiquitin ligase activity, targets cyclins for destruction at the end of mitosis. Mol. Biol. Cell 6, 185–198.

Involvement with biotechnology[edit]

Professor Hershko serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Oramed Pharmaceuticals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2004/hershko-autobio.html
  2. ^ https://www.yadvashem.org/he/remembrance/survivors/hershko.html
  3. ^ Friedman, Sally (September 13, 2011). "Nobel Prize winner's discovery helps save longtime physician friend". Burlington County Times. phillyBurbs.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  4. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1994 (in Hebrew)". Archived from the original on 2008-12-27.
  5. ^ Wolf Prize Recipients in Medicine Archived February 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Nobel citation
  7. ^ Avram Hershko & Aaron Ciechanover, 2004 Nobel in Chemistry Archived December 19, 2005, at the Wayback Machine – A web article

External links[edit]