The topic # 1. Actin history.

It is commonly accepted that actin was discovered by Straub (1942). Straub, who was working in Szent-Gyrgyi's laboratory extracted myosin A (now know as myosin) from fresh muscle and from the residue left over he isolated a new protein. This new protein when added to myosin A formed a highly viscous solution, similarly to what was known for myosin B (now known as actomyosin). Thus, Straub provided evidence that his new protein activated myosin A and therefore, called it actin.

But in 46 years Finck (1968) found Halliburton's paper of 1887. In this study protein was isolated form muscle and named 'myosin-ferment' which 'coagulated' myosin A quickly, i.e. strongly interacted with myosin A. Sir A. F. Huxley (1980, p. 4) attracted attention to the Finck's find and to the Halliburton's merit. 

The question arose: who is discoverer of actin in fact, Straub or Halliburton?

I would be grateful to everyone who will help me to answer this question.

Dr. Vladimir Matveev


* Straub FB, 1942. Actin. In: Studies from the Institute of Medical Chemistry University Szeged, vol. II (Szent-Gyorgyi, A. ed.) pp. 3-15, S. Krager, Basel-New-York: S. Krager.

* Finck H, 1968. On the discovery of actin. Science 160: 332.

* Halliburton WD, 1887. On muscle plasma. J. Physiol. 8: 133.

* Huxley A, 1980. Reflections on Muscle. Sherrington Lecture. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, p. 4.

S.V. Perry
When was actin first extracted from muscle?
Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility 24: 597-599, 2003



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