Biological Inorganic Chemistry

Biological Inorganic Chemistry

A New Introduction to Molecular Structure and Function

2nd Edition - January 25, 2012

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  • Author: Robert Crichton
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444537836

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Biological Inorganic Chemistry: A New Introduction to Molecular Structure and Function, Second Edition, provides a comprehensive discussion of the biochemical aspects of metals in living systems. Beginning with an overview of metals and selected nonmetals in biology, the book then discusses the following concepts: basic coordination chemistry for biologists; structural and molecular biology for chemists; biological ligands for metal ions; intermediary metabolism and bioenergetics; and methods to study metals in biological systems. The book also covers metal assimilation pathways; transport, storage, and homeostasis of metal ions; sodium and potassium channels and pumps; magnesium phosphate metabolism and photoreceptors; calcium and cellular signaling; the catalytic role of several classes of mononuclear zinc enzymes; the biological chemistry of iron; and copper chemistry and biochemistry. In addition, the book discusses nickel and cobalt enzymes; manganese chemistry and biochemistry; molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium, and chromium; non-metals in biology; biomineralization; metals in the brain; metals and neurodegeneration; metals in medicine and metals as drugs; and metals in the environment.

Key Features

  • Winner of a 2013 Textbook Excellence Awards (Texty) from the Text and Academic Authors Association
  • Readable style, complemented by anecdotes and footnotes
  • Enables the reader to more readily grasp the biological and clinical relevance of the subject
  • Color illustrations enable easy visualization of molecular mechanisms


Scientists studying the importance of metals in biology, medicine and environmental sciences and for students following courses in inorganic biochemistry, bioinorganic chemistry or inorganic chemistry.  Researchers: Because it is clearly written and gives a homogeneous view of the subject Chemistry, biology, microbiology, plant science, medical research (preclinical and clinical) environmental research. Students: Chemists / biologists following courses or taking an advanced topic in Inorganic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, biological inorganic chemistry. chemical biology, medicine and environmental sciences. Consultants: To have access to important information collected in one volume. Pharmacological industry, foodstuffs and agro-industries, environmental applications

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. An Overview of Metals and Selected Nonmetals in Biology


    Why do We Need Anything Other Than C, H, N, and O (together with some P and S)?

    What are the Essential Elements and the Essential Metal Ions?

    An Idiosyncratic View of the Periodic Table

    Chapter 2. Basic Coordination Chemistry for Biologists


    Types of Chemical Bonds

    Hard and Soft Ligands

    Coordination Geometry

    Redox Chemistry

    Chapter 3. Structural and Molecular Biology for Chemists


    The Structural Building Blocks of Proteins

    Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Quaternary Structure of Proteins

    Secondary and Tertiary Structures of Nucleic Acids

    Chapter 4. Biological Ligands for Metal Ions


    Insertion of Metal Ions into Metalloproteins

    Chelatase – The Terminal Step in Tetrapyrrole Metallation

    Iron–Sulfur Cluster Formation

    More Complex Cofactors – MoCo, FeMoCo, P-clusters, H-clusters, and CuZ


    Chapter 5. An Overview of Intermediary Metabolism and Bioenergetics


    Redox Reactions in Metabolism

    The Central Role of ATP in Metabolism

    The Types of Reaction Catalysed by Enzymes of Intermediary Metabolism

    An Overview of Catabolism

    Selected Case Studies – Glycolysis and the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle

    An Overview of Anabolism

    Selected Case Studies: Gluconeogenesis and Fatty Acid Biosynthesis

    Bioenergetics – Generation of Phosphoryl Transfer Potential at the Expense of Proton Gradients

    Chapter 6. Methods to Study Metals in Biological Systems


    Magnetic Properties

    Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectroscopy

    Mössbauer Spectroscopy

    NMR Spectroscopy

    Electronic and Vibrational Spectroscopies

    Circular Dichroism and Magnetic Circular Dichroism

    Resonance Raman Spectroscopy

    Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS)

    X-Ray Diffraction

    Chapter 7. Metal Assimilation Pathways


    Inorganic Biogeochemistry

    Metal Assimilation in Bacteria

    Metal Assimilation in Fungi and Plants

    Metal Assimilation in Mammals

    Chapter 8. Transport, Storage, and Homeostasis of Metal Ions


    Metal Storage and Homeostasis in Bacteria

    Metal Transport, Storage, and Homeostasis in Plants and Fungi

    Metal Transport, Storage, and Homeostasis in Mammals

    Chapter 9. Sodium and Potassium – Channels and Pumps

    Introduction – Transport Across Membranes

    Sodium versus Potassium

    Potassium Channels

    Sodium Channels

    The Sodium–Potassium ATPase

    Active Transport Driven by Na+ Gradients

    Sodium/Proton Exchangers

    Other Roles of Intracellular K+

    Chapter 10. Magnesium–Phosphate Metabolism and Photoreceptors


    Magnesium-Dependent Enzymes

    Phosphoryl Group Transfer Kinases

    Phosphoryl Group Transfer – Phosphatases

    Stabilisation of Enolate Anions – The Enolase Superfamily

    Enzymes of Nucleic Acid Metabolism

    Magnesium and Photoreception

    Chapter 11. Calcium – Cellular Signalling

    Introduction – Comparison of Ca2+ and Mg2+

    The Discovery of a Role for Ca2+ Other than as a Structural Component

    An Overview of Ca2+ Regulation and Signalling

    Ca2+ and Cell Signalling

    Chapter 12. Zinc – Lewis Acid and Gene Regulator


    Mononuclear Zinc Enzymes

    Multinuclear and Cocatalytic Zinc Enzymes

    Zinc Fingers DNA- and RNA-Binding Motifs

    Chapter 13. Iron


    Iron Chemistry

    Iron and Oxygen

    The Biological Importance of Iron

    Biological Functions of Iron-Containing Proteins


    Other Iron-Containing Proteins

    Dinuclear Nonhaem Iron Enzymes

    Chapter 14. Copper – Coping with Dioxygen


    Copper Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Copper-Containing Enzymes in Oxygen Activation and Reduction

    Mars and Venus – The Role of Copper in Iron Metabolism

    Chapter 15. Nickel and Cobalt


    Nickel Enzymes

    Methyl-coenzyme M Reductase

    Cobalamine and Cobalt Proteins

    B12-dependent Isomerases

    B12-dependent Methyltransferases

    Noncorrin Co-containing Enzymes

    Chapter 16. Manganese – Oxygen Generation and Detoxification

    Introduction: Mn Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Photosynthetic Oxidation of Water – Oxygen Evolution

    Mn2+ and Detoxification of Oxygen Free Radicals

    Nonredox di-Mn Enzymes – Arginase

    Chapter 17. Molybdenum, Tungsten, Vanadium, and Chromium


    Mo and W Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Molybdenum Enzyme Families

    The Xanthine Oxidase Family

    The Sulfite Oxidases and DMSO Reductases

    Chapter 18. Non-metals in Biology


    The Major Biogeochemical Cycles

    Chapter 19. Biomineralisation


    Principles of Solid-State Biological Inorganic Chemistry

    An Overview of the Major Classes of Biominerals

    Chapter 20. Metals in Brain


    The Brain and the Blood–Brain Barrier (BBB)

    Sodium, Potassium, and Calcium Channels

    Zinc, Copper, and Iron

    Concluding Remarks

    Chapter 21. Metals and Neurodegeneration


    Metal-based Neurodegeneration

    Neurodegenerative Diseases Associated with Metals

    Chapter 22. Metals in Medicine and Metals as Drugs


    Disorders of Metal Metabolism and Homeostasis

    Metal-based Drugs

    Metallotherapeutics with Lithium

    Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

    Chapter 23. Metals in the Environment

    Introduction Environmental Pollution and Heavy Metals





    Metals as Poisons

Product details

  • No. of pages: 472
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2012
  • Published: January 25, 2012
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444537836

About the Author

Robert Crichton

Robert Crichton is Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Science, Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. He has some forty years experience in teaching the subject, and published over 200 scientific articles and a number of books. Since 1985 he has organized a series of over twenty advanced courses on Metals in Biology in Louvain-la-Neuve, which have trained over 1300 doctoral and post-doctoral students, many of whom are today leaders in the field. The Second Edition of Biological Inorganic Chemistry: An Introduction to Molecular Structure and Function received the 2013 TEXTY Textbook Excellence Award in Physical Sciences from the Text and Academic Authors Association.

Affiliations and Expertise

Unite de Biochimie, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

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