The Organization of Cell Metabolism: A Historical Vignette

  • G. Rickey Welch
  • James S. Clegg
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 127)


Enzymology as a distinct science is just over 100 years old, dating most notably to the work of W. Kühne (Gutfreund, 1976). Originally, enzymes were called ferments, reflecting the early interest in the nature of alcoholic fermentation. In 1876 Kühne presented to the Heidelberger Naturhistorischen und Medizinischen Verein a paper (reproduced in FEBS Letters, Volume 62, Supplement, 1976), in which he proposed that isolable ferments should be called enzymes. As we learn in elementary biochemistry courses, the word enzyme comes from the Greek for in yeast or leavened.


Intermediary Metabolism Metabolic Organization Multienzyme System Harvey Lecture Osmotic Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Rickey Welch
    • 1
  • James S. Clegg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Quantitative BiologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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