Practical Approaches to Biological Inorganic Chemistry

Practical Approaches to Biological Inorganic Chemistry

1st Edition - December 31, 2012

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  • Editors: Robert Crichton, Ricardo Louro
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444563590

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The book reviews the use of spectroscopic and related methods to investigate the complex structures and mechanisms of biological inorganic systems that contain metals. Each chapter presents an overview of the technique including relevant theory, clearly explains what it is and how it works and then presents how the technique is actually used to evaluate biological structures. Practical examples and problems are included to illustrate each technique and to aid understanding. Designed for students and researchers who want to learn both the basics, and more advanced aspects of bioinorganic chemistry.

Key Features

  • Many colour illustrations enable easier visualization of molecular mechanisms and structures
  • Worked examples and problems are included to illustrate and test the reader’s understanding of each technique
  • Written by a multi-author team who use and teach the most important techniques used today to analyse complex biological structures


Postgraduates or postdocs plus chemical and biological researchers investigating biological structures

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    Chapter 1. An Overview of the Roles of Metals in Biological Systems

    Introduction: Which Metals Ions and Why?

    Some Physicochemical Considerations on Alkali Metals

    Na+ and K+ – Functional Ionic Gradients

    Mg2+ – Phosphate Metabolism

    Ca2+ and Cell Signalling

    Zinc – Lewis Acid and Gene Regulator

    Iron and Copper – Dealing with Oxygen

    Ni and Co – Evolutionary Relics

    Mn – Water Splitting and Oxygen Generation

    Mo and V – Nitrogen Fixation


    Chapter 2. Introduction to Ligand Field Theory


    Crystal Field and Ligand Field Theory

    MO Theory of Transition Metal Complexes

    Concluding Remarks

    Further Reading

    Chapter 3. EPR Spectroscopy

    Why EPR Spectroscopy?

    What Is EPR Spectroscopy?


    A Comparison of EPR Versus NMR

    EPR Spectrometer

    What (Bio)molecules Give EPR?

    Basic Theory and Simulation of EPR


    Concentration Determination

    Hyperfine Interactions

    High-Spin Systems

    Applications Overview


    Chapter 4. Introduction to Biomolecular NMR and Metals


    Properties of the Matter Relevant to NMR

    Energy of NMR Transitions

    Macroscopic Magnetisation

    Acting on Magnetisation


    An NMR Experiment

    The Chemical Shift

    Coupling: The Interaction Between Magnetic Nuclei

    Chemical Exchange

    The Nuclear Overhauser Effect

    Multidimensional NMR

    Metals in Biomolecular NMR Spectra


    An NMR Spectrometer and How the Macroscopic Magnetisation and Relaxation are Measured

    Care in Obtaining NMR Spectra of Paramagnetic Samples



    Useful Physical Constants

    Chapter 5. 57Fe-Mössbauer Spectroscopy and Basic Interpretation of Mössbauer Parameters



    57Fe Hyperfine Interactions

    Isomer Shift as Informative Hyperfine Interaction

    Electric Quadrupole Splitting

    Magnetic Hyperfine Splitting

    Combined Hyperfine Splitting

    Applications – Selected Examples



    Chapter 6. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy in Biology (BioXAS)

    Introduction to Biological X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy (BioXAS)

    An introductory example: Mo, Cu, AND Se in CO-dehydrogenase from Oligotropha carboxidovorans

    Outline of the BioXAS Chapter


    X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy: X-ray-induced Electron Diffraction

    Phase Shifts and Effect of Atom Type

    Plane-Wave and Muffin-Tin Approximation

    Multiple Scattering in Biological Systems

    Strategy for the Interpretation of EXAFS

    Validation and Automation of EXAFS Data Analysis

    XANES Simulations with three-dimensional Models

    Metal–Metal Distances in Metal Clusters

    Non-metal Trace Elements: Halogens

    Summary: Strengths and Limitations

    Conclusions: Relations with Other Techniques


    Chapter 7. Other Spectroscopic Methods for Probing Metal Centres in Biological Systems

    Optical Spectroscopy

    Magnetic Circular Dichroism

    Vibrational Spectroscopies

    IR Spectroscopy

    Raman Spectroscopy


    Chapter 8. An Introduction to Electrochemical Methods for the Functional Analysis of Metalloproteins



    Electrochemistry Under Equilibrium Conditions: Potentiometric Titrations

    Dynamic Electrochemistry

    Diffusion-Controlled Voltammetry

    Voltammetry of Adsorbed Proteins: Protein Film Voltammetry (PFV)

    Catalytic Voltammetry and Chronoamperometry with Adsorbed Redox Enzymes


    PFV Quiz




    Chapter 9. X-ray Crystallography



    Protein Crystallisation

    Data Collection

    Phase Determination

    Model Building and Refinement

    Structure Analysis and Model Quality

    Case Study


    Purification and Crystallisation

    X-ray Diffraction Data Collection and Phasing

    Structure Refinement

    Structure Analysis

    General Conclusions



    Chapter 10. Genetic and Molecular Biological Approaches for the Study of Metals in Biology

    Introduction and Aims

    Basic Genetics and Molecular Genetics: Origins and Definitions

    Setting Up: Regulations, Equipment, Methods and Resources

    Approaches and Systems

    Molecular Biology Tools and Methods

    Genetic and Molecular Genetic Methods


    The OMICS Revolution

    Illustrative Examples in the Genetics and Molecular Biology of N2 Fixation



Product details

  • No. of pages: 336
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2013
  • Published: December 31, 2012
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444563590

About the Editors

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

Ricardo Louro

Ricardo Louro
Inorganic Biochemistry and NMR Laboratory ITQB-UNL Av da Republica (EAN), Portugal

Affiliations and Expertise

Inorganic Biochemistry and NMR Laboratory ITQB-UNL Av da Republica (EAN), Portugal

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