January 6, 1921|
Saint Petersburg, former Soviet Union
|Died||January 3, 2013
Grunberg-Manago was born into a family of artists who adhered to the teachings of the Swiss educational reformer Johann Pestalozzi. When she was 9 months old, Grunberg-Manago's parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to France.
Education and Research
Grunberg-Manago studied biochemistry and, in 1955, while working in the lab of Spanish-America biochemist Severo Ochoa, she discovered the first nucleic-acid-synthesizing enzyme. Initially, everyone thought the new enzyme was an RNA polymerase used by E. coli cells to make long chains of RNA from separate nucleotides. But although the new enzyme could link a few nucleotides together, the reaction was highly reversible and it later became clear that the enzyme, polynucleotide phosphorylase, usually catalyzes the breakdown of RNA, not its synthesis.
Nonetheless, the enzyme was extraordinarily useful and important. Almost immediately, Marshall Nirenberg and J. Heinrich Matthaei put it to use to form the first three-nucleotide RNA codons, which coded for the amino acid phenylalanine. This first step in cracking the genetic code entirely depended on the availability of Grunberg-Manago’s enzyme.
In 1959, Ochoa and Arthur Kornberg won the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the synthesis of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA." She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978 and a Foreign Associate Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1982.
Later life and death
Late in her career, Grunberg-Manago was named emeritus director of research at CNRS, France’s National Center for Scientific Research.
Grunberg-Manago died in January, 2013, three days before her 92nd birthday.
Awards and nominations
- Member of the EMBO (1964)
- Charles-Léopold-Mayer Prize from the French Academy of Sciences (1966)
- Foreign member of the American Society of Biological Chemists (1972)
- Member of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)
- Member of the French Society for biochemistry and molecular biology
- Foreign member of the Franklin Society (1995)
- Member of the Spanish Society for molecular biology
- Member of the Greek Society for molecular biology
- Member of the Executive Board of the ICSU
- Foreign member of the New York Academy of Sciences (1977)
- Foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1978)
- Foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States (1982)
- Honorary foreign member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1988)
- Member of Academia Europea (1988)
- Honorary foreign member of the Russian Academy of sciences (1991)
- Foreign member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1991)
- Grand Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honor(2008)
- Grunberg-Manago, M. (1997). "Severo Ochoa. 24 September 1905--1 November 1993: Elected For.Mem.R.S. 1965". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 43: 351–365. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1997.0020.
- Grunberg-Manago, Marianne; Ortiz, P; Ochoa, S (April 1956). "Enzymic synthesis of polynucleotides. I. Polynucleotide phosphorylase of Azotobacter vinelandii". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 20 (1): 269–85. doi:10.1016/0006-3002(56)90286-4. PMID 13315374.
- Grunberg-Manago, M.; Oritz, P. J.; Ochoa, S. (1955). "Enzymatic synthesis of nucleic acidlike polynucleotides". Science. 122 (3176): 907–910. doi:10.1126/science.122.3176.907. PMID 13274047.
- Symmons, Martyn F.; Jones, George H.; Luisi, Ben F. (2000-11-15). "A Duplicated Fold Is the Structural Basis for Polynucleotide Phosphorylase Catalytic Activity, Processivity, and Regulation". Structure. 8 (11): 1215–1226. doi:10.1016/S0969-2126(00)00521-9.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter Gurl=http://www.amacad.org/publications/BookofMembers/ChapterG.pdf". American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- "Marianne Grunberg-Manago". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Biography of Marianne Grunberg-Manago" (PDF) (in French). French Academy of Sciences. February 22, 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "L'Académie des sciences a le regret de faire part du décès de Marianne Grunberg-Manago survenu à Paris le 3 janvier 2013." "Le 3 janvier, décès de Marianne Grunberg-Manago" (in French). French Academy of Sciences. January 2013. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013.