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November 1, 2017

History of Light Chains

History of Light Chains

What is so special about the authors of this 1956 Cancer paper (Fig. 1)?

The first author, Leonhard Korngold, was born in 1921 in the former Czechoslovakia. He immigrated to the United States during his teenage years, enlisted in the U.S. Army, and received the Bronze Star for his military service in World War II. After receiving a Ph.D. in bacteriology, he conducted immunology research at Memorial Hospital in New York (later to become Memorial Sloan-Kettering). Rose Lipari worked as a technician with Dr. Korngold in their study of the Bence Jones protein. Using Ouchterlony’s agar diffusion technique, they showed that antisera to the Bence Jones protein also reacted against myeloma proteins.

In tribute to their discovery, the two classes of Bence Jones protein were designated using the first letters of the surnames Korngold (“kappa”) and Lipari (“lambda”) (associated with light chains).

1. Korngold and Lipari. Multiple-myeloma proteins. III. The antigenic relationship of Bence Jones proteins to normal gammaglobulin and multiple-myeloma serum proteins. Cancer. 1956 Mar-Apr;9(2):262-72. PMID: 13304841.
2. Kyle RA. Multiple myeloma: an odyssey of discovery. British Journal of Haematology, 2000. PubMed PMID: 11167737.
3. obituary for Leonhard Korngold.