William Lipscomb: He said, "Bill, why don’t you take some samples, prepare some samples of antigen
antibody and take them up to the electron microscope and see what you can find. See
if you can find the structure of the antibody in this complex, of the haptens." Marvelous
project. I don’t remember who did it, I think it was Valentine [?] who actually did
the experiment, and found the three fold symmetric of three antibodies tied together
with haptenes, which are T-shaped, you know. Bound together, the haptenes make a three-fold
symmetric thing. I missed it! Because my preparations weren't very good. It is a project
which requires much more time, much more careful work than I understood at the time.
But it triggered my interest in biochemistry right along with all the antibody work
that Dan Campbell was doing at Linus's suggestion.
That came from Landsteiner by the way, the haptene work. But Landsteiner didn’t make
it quantitative, and Linus made lots of chemical variations, and free energy calculations
of the binding site, he got some idea of the size of the binding site, all kinds of
things that were right, along with the wrong idea that it folds.
Creator: Thomas Hager, William Lipscomb Associated: Linus Pauling, Dan Campbell, Karl Landsteiner Clip ID: hager2.002.6-haptens