Biological Inorganic Chemistry

An Introduction


  • Robert Crichton, Unité de Biochimie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • Robert Crichton, Unité de Biochimie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

The importance of metals in biology, the environment and medicine has become increasingly evident over the last twenty five years. The study of the multiple roles of metal ions in biological systems, the rapidly expanding interface between inorganic chemistry and biology constitutes the subject called Biological Inorganic Chemistry. The present text, written by a biochemist, with a long career experience in the field (particularly iron and copper) presents an introduction to this exciting and dynamic field. The book begins with introductory chapters, which together constitute an overview of the concepts, both chemical and biological, which are required to equip the reader for the detailed analysis which follows. Pathways of metal assimilation, storage and transport, as well as metal homeostasis are dealt with next. Thereafter, individual chapters discuss the roles of sodium and potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, nickel and cobalt, manganese, and finally molybdenum, vanadium, tungsten and chromium. The final three chapters provide a tantalising view of the roles of metals in brain function, biomineralization and a brief illustration of their importance in both medicine and the environment.
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Student: Chemists / biologists following courses in Inorganic biochemistry / Bioinorganic chemistry. Chemistry, biology, medicine, environmental sciencesResearcher: Because it is clearly written and gives a homogeneous view of the subject Chemistry, biology, microbiology, plant science, medical research (preclinical and clinical) environmental researchConsultant: To have access to important informations collected in one volume. Pharmacological industry, foodstuffs and agro-industries, environmental applications


Book information

  • Published: December 2007
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-52740-0


"The writing of my colleague Bob Crichton is simply exquisite, clear and precise, yet light and pleasant...every chapter is a little story about the metal under consideration, with the hardcore chemistry and biochemical principles alternating with interesting anecdotes and beautiful illustrations and figures. I recommend [the book] wholeheartedly to students or researchers involved in chemistry, biochemistry, biology and medicine, and to anyone else who wishes to have a first contact with inorganic biochemistry. It is a must, and no lecture course in this area can afford not to use it." --Professor Istvan E. Marko, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Table of Contents

Part 1 Basic Principles

  1. An overview of metals in biology
  2. Basic coordination chemistry for biologists
  3. Biological ligands for metal ions
  4. Structural and molecular biology for chemists
  5. An overview of intermediary metabolism and bioenergetics
  6. Methods which can be used to study metals in biology
  7. Metal assimilation pathways
  8. Transport, storage and homeostasis of metal ions
  9. Part 2 Metals in Biology

  10. Sodium and potassium
  11. Magnesium
  12. Calcium
  13. Zinc
  14. Iron
  15. Copper
  16. Nickel and cobalt
  17. Manganese
  18. Molybdenum, vanadium, tungsten and chromium
  19. Non-metals in biology
  20. Biomineralisation
  21. Part 3 Metals in Medicine and the environment

  22. Metals in brain function
  23. Metals and neurodegeneration
  24. Metals in medicine and metals as drugs
  25. Metals in the environment and metal toxicity