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What was the possible reason for protein sequencing before DNA?

3 Answers

  • Ted K
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your question is kind of unclear, but it appears that you're essentially asking a history question--i.e. why was protein sequencing developed before DNA that's how I'll answer...

    At the time Frederick Sanger started doing his work on protein sequencing, he was working in a lab which specialized in proteins. This was during the 1940s well BEFORE the structure for DNA had been proposed, and also well before it was even understood that DNA was the genetic material. Because proteins were very complex, it was thought at the time that therefore proteins had to carry genetic information--from what was understood about nucleic acids, they were thought to be too simple in structure--the notion of a code had not even been conceived of yet. Therefore, proteins were the hot item in those days, and relatively large amounts of purified insulin were available. So, since Sanger was trained as a protein chemist, he started with that. Within a year or two of his having published the sequence of insulin, Watson & Crick proposed their double helical model for DNA, that same year, Hershey & Chase had conclusively shown that DNA was the genetic material. NOW it was understood how important DNA was, so after working out methods for sequencing RNA, (although he got scooped by someone who published before he was able to), Sanger next set his sights on sequencing DNA--he developed a totally novel method for that, but it took him until 1977.

    So, the bottom line answer is that people were working intensively with proteins BEFORE they started doing so with DNA. Thus, work on proteins was further along, and that's why protein sequencing methods were developed before those for DNA.

  • Gary C
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Every individual has a unique set of proteins in his or her body.

    So isolating these proteins is one way of identifying the person that a sample (blood, sperm, saliva, etc.) came from.

    It was also used to detect how closely one species was related to another.

  • 6 years ago

    Pure knowledge with an eye to possible applications

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