Professor Eric Shooter FRS
Eric Shooter is well known for his studies of the chemistry and biochemistry of nerve growth factor (NGF). Eric showed that NGF consists of two peptide chains of identical sequence but unequal length, associated noncovalently. He crystallised NGF and showed that its activity is unaffected by the removal of the N-terminal octapeptide or C-terminal arginine. He also showed that in the cell, NGF is in the form of a 7S complex with a specific arginine endopeptidase and alpha-subunits, which inhibit the peptidase and nerve growth activity, and that the 7S complex is secreted in the saliva. He demonstrated two classes of cellular receptor for NGF. The high-affinity receptor is only present at the developmental age when the neurons are responsive. He discovered a haemoglobin variant with abnormal alpha and beta chains, giving evidence of two synthetic genes.