Biophysical and Structural Aspects of Bioenergetics: RSC (RSC Biomolecular Sciences)

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9780854043460: Biophysical and Structural Aspects of Bioenergetics: RSC (RSC Biomolecular Sciences)
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Bioenergetics is a term used to describe the events of primary energy transduction in biology. The field has seen tremendous advances in recent years thanks to developments in the biophysical and computational techniques used to solve the three-dimensional structures of the membrane-bound proteins, which often act as catalysts in these reactions. This has enabled researchers to bring, otherwise static, structures to life and decipher the dynamic function of these intriguing systems. Biophysical and Structural Aspects of Bioenergetics brings together contributions from internationally respected experts, all of whom helped shape and develop the field of bioenergetics. It provides a representative snapshot of the very latest key developments in this multidisciplinary subject, with an emphasis on molecular structure, and how this changes during the bioenergetic function. Offering a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art, and complete with extensive citations in each chapter, this book is the ideal reference for both biochemists and biophysicists studying this fascinating topic.

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About the Author:

Mårten Wikström received his MD, Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki in 1971, after which he spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam with Prof. E. C. Slater. In 1975-1976 he was visiting associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania with Prof. Britton Chance. He worked as an assistant professor at the University of Helsinki until 1983, when he was appointed to a personal Chair in medical chemistry (changed to physical biochemistry in 2002). In the period 1996-2006 he was Research Professor of the Academy of Finland. From 1998 to 2013 he was Research Director of the Structural Biology and Biophysics Program of the Institute of Biotechnology. He retired in 2013 but continues as Emeritus Professor. He is a recipient of the Anniversary Prize of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) in 1977, the Scandinavian Anders Jahre Prize in medicine in 1984 and 1996, and the David Keilin Prize and Medal (British Biochemical Society) in 1997, and he gave the Peter Mitchell Medal Lecture in 2000. He is an elected member of Societas Scientiarum Fennica (1982), the European Molecular Biology Organization (1985), The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (chemistry, 1992), and Academia Europaea (2010). His research interests are in molecular bioenergetics, membrane proteins, electron transfer, proton translocation, and mitochondrial diseases.

Review:

From the Reviews ...

"Life as we know it depends on pumping protons across membranes. The protein complexes that do this, harnessing photons or redox reactions as free energy sources, are an extraordinary set of variations on a theme. They have almost as much claim as DNA to be at the heart of biology. Their study has just undergone another revolution with the advent of a plethora of x-ray crystallographic structures.  

However, this is only one step on the way to understanding the chemistry and physics of electron transfer and proton translocation. Important aspects of function are determined by fine details that lie below the resolution of the crystal structures. Furthermore, in real life, many of these protein complexes are highly flexible and dynamic, and this is crucial to their function. A crystallographic structure is only a snapshot of one conformation of the protein. 

This book is also a snapshot: it collects a series of up-to-the-minute chapters from the leading research groups, showing the current state of the field as it moves into the ‘post-structural era’. The way forward combines crystallographic analysis with site-directed mutagenesis and spectroscopy, in the quest to get a dynamic, atomic level, understanding.  

Bioenergeticists are now answering questions that they might not even have dared to think about a few years ago, and it is possible that other biologists will no longer see the point of it all. 

The chapter entitled The bc1 complex: what is there left to argue about? nicely illustrates the problem. In fact there is plenty left to argue about, and chemists need to be involved. Shinya Yoshikawa suggests that chemistry is not yet up to the job: ‘significant improvement in chemical terminology is required for elucidation of the mechanism of the catalytic activities’. 

The book is a beautifully produced research-level resource for those already involved in the field."

Conrad Mullineaux, CHEMISTRY WORLD, May 2006

 

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