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Gheorghe Benga (born January 26, 1944 in Timişoara, Romania) is a professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Iuliu Haţieganu" of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is a member of the Romanian Academy.

In 1986, together with collaborators Octavian Popescu and Victor I. Pop, Benga showed the existence of a protein water channel in the red blood cell membrane[1][2] Two years later, in 1988, Peter Agre independently isolated the protein and demonstrated it was a ubiquitously expressed water transport protein, naming it aquaporin.[3] In 2003 Agre would receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work.


  1. ^ Benga G, Popescu O, Pop VI, Holmes RP (1986). "p-(Chloromercuri)benzenesulfonate binding by membrane proteins and the inhibition of water transport in human erythrocytes". Biochemistry. 25 (7): 1535–8. doi:10.1021/bi00355a011. PMID 3011064.
  2. ^ Benga Gh; Popescu O; Borza Victoria; Pop VI; Muresan A; Mocsy I; Brain A; Wrigglesworth JM (1986). "Water permeability of human erythrocytes. Identification of membrane proteins involved in water transport". Eur J Cell Biol. 41 (2): 252–262. PMID 3019699.
  3. ^ Kuchel PW (2006). "The story of the discovery of aquaporins: convergent evolution of ideas--but who got there first?". Cell. Mol. Biol. (Noisy-le-grand). 52 (7): 2–5. PMID 17543213.

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