(1865-1940) English biochemist who investigated the mechanism of sugar fermentation and the role of enzymes in this process. For this work he shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Harden was born in Manchester and studied at Owen's College (now the University of Manchester) and at Erlangen, Germany. He worked at the British Institute of Preventative Medicine (later called the Jenner Institute) 1897–1912, when he became professor at the University of London.
Harden began work on sugar fermentation in 1898, investigating the metabolism of yeasts from 1900, three years after the discovery of enzymes. He showed that fermentation was caused by the action of the enzyme zymase on glycogen. Harden and his co-workers went on to show that zymase consists of at least two different substances: one heat-sensitive (probably a protein, the enzyme) and one heat-stable (now known as a coenzyme).
Harden then discovered the hexose sugar compound hexosediphosphate in the normal reaction mixture (he later found hexosemonophosphate as well), thus proving that phosphorylation is an intermediate step in the fermentation process. This finding stimulated great interest in intermediate metabolism.
1. To become hard or harder.
2. To make hard or harder.