Two Israelis and an American have won the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Israeli biochemists Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko, and American Irwin Rose will share the $1.3 million prize for their research in the 1980s on the breakdown of proteins in the human body, helping to explain the immune system.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners Wednesday in Stockholm.

The two Israelis are members of the Institute of Technology in Haifa, while the American does his research at the University of California at Irvine.