Date of Birth: 09/16/1853
Place of birth: Rostock
Fulfilling the wishes of his father, K. in 1872 joined the newly organized the Imperial University in Strasbourg, where he began to attend lectures mycologist Anton de Bary.
In Strasbourg, K. studied under the guidance of a specialist in the field of physiological chemistry Felix Hoppe-Seiler. In 1877, in Rostock K. survived the state exam, received his doctorate in medicine and returned to Strasbourg, where he began working as an assistant Hoppe-Seiler at the Institute of Physical Chemistry. Their joint research was devoted to the diffusion of salts and protein digestion by the enzyme pepsin.
K. began to study the chemical components nukleina - rich in phosphorus, a substance discovered in 1869 by Friedrich Miescher in the nuclei of cells contained in pus. After 10 years, K. singled nukleina starch. Then with his students determined that the nucleic acids consist of so-called pyrimidine nitrogenous bases, which include thymine, cytosine and uracil. In 1897, Emil Fischer first identified the other major components of nucleic acid - purine bases adenine and guanine. As a result, by the end of the XIX century. chastosnovnyh large components of nucleic acids has been opened. Not only were studied carbohydrate components, although K. and suggests that they are a mixture of hexoses and pentoses - simple sugars, or monosaccharides.
C. One of the objectives was to link the chemical structure of a substance with the cells of its biological activity. Studying the physiological properties nukleina, he came to the conclusion that this substance plays a role in the growth of tissues, and not a source of energy for muscle cells. This conclusion was confirmed when K. found a very high content of nukleina in embryonic tissues.
In 1883, K. was appointed director of the department of chemistry, and four years later - the assistant professor of the Berlin Physiological Institute. Here he worked until 1895, although the teaching load leaves little time for research. Arriving in Marburg, K. became a professor of physiology and director of the Institute of Physiology. Here he was able to devote more time to research, and scientists from many countries come here to work together with K.
In the study of another component nukleina K. isolated from nuclei of erythrocytes goose proteinaceous substance - histone. He found that it was similar to protamine, Miescher found in fish sperm. As histone and protamines different fish were simple basic proteins.
In 1901 Karl Wilhelm Kuhne was replaced as director of the Heidelberg Institute for Physiological and remained in that position until retirement. In 1907, he was chairman of the VII International Congress of Physiologists, convened in his honor.
In 1910 K. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for "contributions to the study of cell chemistry made by studies of proteins, including the nucleic substances". At this time, the role of nucleic acids in the coding and transmission of genetic information was still unknown, and K. could assume any value will have to work its genetics. While in 1893, K. and reported that chromosomes are composed of nucleic acid and different amounts of protein (histone), he was not engaged in the nature of the substrate of heredity. In 1912, K. lecture, in which he pointed to a variety of polypeptides and suggested that the chemical basis for the transmission of hereditary information can be a protein structure.
K. for the first time also developed the concept of building the cell elements. He noted that some substances - amino acids, sterols, purines and pyrimidines, available in all the cells of animals and plants - are the basic building blocks for a variety of physiological processes. In the period from 1885 to 1901 K, together with his students discovered several amino acids.
In 1886, Karl married Louise Holzman. In the family they had a daughter and a son.
In 1924, K. retired, leaving work at the Heidelberg Institute of saline, and then worked at the Institute of Chemistry of proteins, as well as, under the direction of Ludwig Krehl, in the newly created Medical Clinic Heidelberg. July 5, 1927 at age 73, he died of cardiac arrest.
K. was awarded many prizes, t. H. Honorary degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Dublin, Edinburgh, Ghent, Greifswald and St. Andrew. He was a member of many academic institutions, including The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Uppsala. For over 30 years he was the editor of the "Journal of Physiological Chemistry