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Avram Hershko

Born 31 December 1937(1937-12-31)
Karcag, Hungary
Nationality Israel
Fields Chemistry
Known for ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2004)

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



Born Herskó Ferenc in Karcag, Hungary, Hershko emigrated to Israel in 1950. 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, immune and inflammatory responses.

Honours and awards


  • 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

Professor Hershko serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Oramed Pharmaceuticals.[5] Along with Prof. Hershko, Derek LeRoith, Ele Ferrannini, Nir Barzilai, Ehud Arbit, and Miriam Kidron lead Oramed's scientific leadership team. Oramed is currently developing an Oral Insulin capsule, ORMD-0801. Oramed's Oral Insulin capsule is currently being tested on patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in South Africa.[6]

Additionally, Professor Hershko served on the Board of Directors of the Ivax Corporation.[7] The company develops specialty generic pharmaceuticals, respirator drugs, and cancer treatments. Ivax was acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in January 2006.[8]


  1. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1994 (in Hebrew)".  
  2. ^ Wolf Prize Recipients in Medicine
  3. ^ Nobel citation
  4. ^ Avram Hershko & Aaron Ciechanover, 2004 Nobel in Chemistry - A web article
  5. ^ [ Nobel Prize Winner Professor Avram Hershko Named to Oramed Pharmaceuticals Scientific Advisory Board].
  6. ^ Oramed Pharmaceuticals Announces Launch of Phase 2B Clinical Trials in South Africa of its Oral Insulin Capsule.
  7. ^ IVAX Elects Avram Hershko, M.D., Ph.D. and Zachariah P. Zachariah, M.D. to Board of Directors

External links

See also

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