Avram Hershko


Avram Hershko (Hebrew: אברהם הרשקו, romanizedAvraham Hershko, Hungarian: Herskó Ferenc Ábrahám;[1] born December 31, 1937) is an Israeli biochemist of Hungarian Jewish origin who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004.

Avram Hershko
Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Nobel Laureate Avram Hershko.jpg
Herskó Ferenc

(1937-12-31) December 31, 1937 (age 84)
Known forubiquitin-mediated protein degradation
Judith Leibowitz
(m. 1963)
AwardsNobel Prize in Chemistry (2004)
Scientific career


He was born Herskó Ferenc in Karcag, Hungary, the son of Shoshana/Margit 'Manci' (née Wulc) and Moshe Hershko, both teachers.[2] During the Second World War, his father was forced into labor service in the Hungarian army and then taken as a prisoner by the Soviet Army. For years, Avram's family didn't known anything about what had happened to his father. Avram, his mother and older brother were put in a ghetto in Szolnok. During the final days of the ghetto, most Jews were sent to be murdered in Auschwitz, but Avram and his family managed to board trains that took them to a concentration camp in Austria, where they were forced into labor until the end of the war. Avram and his mother survived the war and returned to their home. His father returned as well, 4 years after they had last seen him.[3]

Hershko and his family emigrated to Israel in 1950 and settled in Jerusalem. He received his M.D. in 1965 and his Ph.D in 1969 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Hadassah Medical Center. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion in Haifa and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine.

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 system 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, and immune and inflammatory responses.

His contributions to science directly helped cure one of his long-time friends of cancer.[4]

Honours and awardsEdit


  • Hershko, A.; Ciechanover, A.; Heller, H.; Haas, A. L.; Rose, I. A. (April 1, 1980). "Proposed role of ATP in protein breakdown: conjugation of protein with multiple chains of the polypeptide of ATP-dependent proteolysis". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 77 (4): 1783–1786. Bibcode:1980PNAS...77.1783H. doi:10.1073/pnas.77.4.1783. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 348591. PMID 6990414.
  • Hershko, A; Heller, H; Elias, S; Ciechanover, A (July 10, 1983). "Components of ubiquitin-protein ligase system. Resolution, affinity purification, and role in protein breakdown". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 258 (13): 8206–14. doi:10.1016/S0021-9258(20)82050-X. ISSN 0021-9258. PMID 6305978.
  • Hershko, A.; Leshinsky, E.; Ganoth, D.; Heller, H. (March 1, 1984). "ATP-dependent degradation of ubiquitin-protein conjugates". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 81 (6): 1619–1623. Bibcode:1984PNAS...81.1619H. doi:10.1073/pnas.81.6.1619. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 344969. PMID 6324208.
  • Hershko, A; Heller, H; Eytan, E; Reiss, Y (1986). "The protein substrate binding site of the ubiquitin-protein ligase system". Journal of Biological Chemistry. Elsevier BV. 261 (26): 11992–11999. doi:10.1016/s0021-9258(18)67192-3. ISSN 0021-9258. PMID 3017957.
  • Ganoth, D; Leshinsky, E; Eytan, E; Hershko, A (September 5, 1988). "A multicomponent system that degrades proteins conjugated to ubiquitin. Resolution of factors and evidence for ATP-dependent complex formation". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 263 (25): 12412–9. doi:10.1016/S0021-9258(18)37771-8. ISSN 0021-9258. PMID 2842333.
  • Sudakin, V; Ganoth, D; Dahan, A; Heller, H; Hershko, J; Luca, F C; Ruderman, J V; Hershko, A (1995). "The cyclosome, a large complex containing cyclin-selective ubiquitin ligase activity, targets cyclins for destruction at the end of mitosis". Molecular Biology of the Cell. American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). 6 (2): 185–197. doi:10.1091/mbc.6.2.185. ISSN 1059-1524. PMC 275828. PMID 7787245.

Involvement with biotechnologyEdit

Professor Hershko serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Oramed Pharmaceuticals.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Hungary's Nobel Prize Winners". www.mta.hu. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  2. ^ Avram Hershko on Nobelprize.org   including the Nobel Lecture The Ubiquitin System for Protein Degradation and some of its Roles in the Control of the Cell Division Cycle
  3. ^ "אברהם הרשקו".
  4. ^ Friedman, Sally (September 13, 2011). "Nobel Prize winner's discovery helps save longtime physician friend". Burlington County Times. phillyBurbs.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1994" (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on December 27, 2008.
  6. ^ "Wolf Prize Recipients in Medicine". Archived from the original on February 26, 2009.
  7. ^ Iddo Genuth (29 July 2005). "Two Israeli Scientists Have Won The Nobel Prize In Chemistry". isracast.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2005.
  8. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-06-08.

External linksEdit

  • Avram Hershko on Nobelprize.org   including the Nobel Lecture The Ubiquitin System for Protein Degradation and some of its Roles in the Control of the Cell Division Cycle
  • Website at the Technion
  • Avram Hershko's Short Talk: "Lessons from My Life in Science"
  • "Hungarian" Nobel Prize winners Crooked Timber
  • Avram Hershko Jewish Virtual Library
  • Ubiquitin-Mediated Protein Degradation: From the lab to the bedside Dan Hersko
  • The Official Site of Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize