Skou, Jens Christian, 1918–, Danish chemist, M.D. Univ. of Copenhagen, 1944, Ph.D., 1954. Skou was on the faculty at the Univ. of Århus, Denmark, from 1947 until he retired in 1988. In 1997 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Paul Boyer and John Walker for his discovery of sodium, potassium-stimulated adenosine triphosphatase, an enzyme that transports sodium and potassium ions through the cell membrane and maintains the balance of those ions in living cells. Skou's work led to the discovery of other ion pumps with similar structures and functions, including one that participates in the control of muscle contraction and another that produces hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
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