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Book Review An Introduction to Enzyme and Coenzyme Chemistry. By T. Bugg

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BOOKS
plex calculations of the transport through
a membrane using different models. Examples based on everyday problems are
also included: “How long will it take before a bicycle tire is flat?”, or “What is the
principle behind the function of Goretexa or Sympatexz membranes?”
The book is divided into eight chapters,
varying in length between 20 and 130
pages. Each chapter has its own literature
references and problems. Only a few references are from 1995, most of them are
older. Here some more recent data would
have been useful, including selected examples of applications of membrane processes. Some interesting examples can be
found in the problems, but these are not
covered by the index.
The first chapter describes the historical
development and provides the basic definitions. Chapter 2 summarizes membrane
materials, and Chapter 3 gives an introduction to membrane production. In
Chapter 4 methods for the characterization of membranes are described. Chapter
5 summarizes different models used to describe transport through membranes.
These five chapters form the first part of
the book.
The second part begins with Chapter 6
which is the longest in the book (130
pages). Here various membrane processes
are described, such as particle filtration,
ultrafiltration, pervaporation, membrane
contactors or electrodialysis, classified
according to their driving forces. There is
also a short section dealing with membrane reactors. Chapter 7 discusses the
problem of membrane fouling. Finally,
Chapter 8 describes different types of
membrane modules including guidelines
for their design.
To summarize, this is an excellent textbook and reference source for everyone
working with membrane processes. It also
gives valuable advice for the reader who
has a separation problem and is looking
for new approaches to solving it. But it
requires careful reading-there
is no
‘quick solution’. Here the limited number
of applications described restricts the
book’s usefulness. The index contains
some errors: bipolar membranes can be
found on page 390, not on page 277.
There is no index of membrane suppliers.
But a search in the Internet using the keyword ‘membrane’ reveals enough helpful
information.
It is to be hoped that this book will be
read by scientists from a range of disciplines, not solely by process engineers.
However, the high price may be an obstacle to its wide distribution. Difficulties in
the filtration of precipitates or the desalting of samples are typical of everyday
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problems that might be solved easily using
appropriate membrane processes.
By the way: a bicycle tire is entirely flat
after 169 days.
Udo Kragl
Institut fur Biotechnologie
der Forschungszentrum Jiilich GmbH
Jiilich (Germany)
An Introduction to Enzyme and Coenzyme Chemistry. By T Bugg. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 1997. 247 pp.,
softcover, 19.95.--ISBN 0-86542793-3
In this book the author, Tim Bugg, has
succeeded well in his aim of writing an
introduction to the modes of action of enzymes and coenzymes from the standpoint of organic chemistry, and of explaining the underlying mechanisms.
Concisely and in clearly understandable
language, the book also provides the reader with much valuable background
knowledge, which is not available elsewhere in so compact a form.
The structure of the book is well suited
for such an introduction. First, in a general overview, the reader learns a little about
enzyme kinetics and enzymatic reactions
in general. The different types of reactions
are then introduced in turn, plentifully illustrated with the help of many two-color
formula schemes: hydrolytic and group
transfer reactions, redox enzyme reactions, carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions, addition and elimination reactions, transformations of amino acids,
and isomerase reactions. Lastly there is a
chapter on nonenzymatic catalysis. A
short appendix contains answers to the
questions and exercises that are given at
the end of each chapter.
We consider this book to be very suitable for use by students as an introduction
to the various aspects of enzymatic reactions and the role of coenzymes. However,
our very favorable impression on first
glancing through it was modified to some
extent on closer examination, as there are
a number of errors that suggest a lack of
care in proofreading (see the examples below). The reader already familiar with the
subject would perhaps not be troubled by
these, but it is especially important that
the student using the book as a first introduction should be able to rely on consistent accuracy in both text and figures.
The fact that 21 proteinogenic amino
acids are now known, together with their
corresponding codons, should nowadays
0 WILEY-VCH Veriag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim, 1997
be part of every student’s basic knowledge. However, it seems quite unnecessary
to repeat at several places the explanation
of the three-letter symbols for amino acids
in the text and in the figures. The role of
chaperones as “helpers” in the folding of
many proteins should at least have been
briefly mentioned, to avoid giving the impression that folding always occurs spontaneously (p. 12). The formula schemes
do not always accurately identify all the
compounds involved; it is essential to
check in each case to ensure that all the
reactants are shown, as the reader is likely
to be confused if there are omissions. The
definitions of specificity and selectivity on
pages 26 and 27 do not agree with those
usually found in textbooks of biochemistry and in original publications; for example, substrate specificity is normally
taken to mean the selectivity of an enzyme
with regard to the substrate that is converted.
A few printing errors need to be corrected in a subsequent edition of the book.
In addition, however, there are numerous
other mistakes and points that invite criticism, as shown by the following list:
page 4: “Many of the vitamins are in fact
coenzymes . . .”;
page 8: the stereochemistry of the sidechain in threonine is shown wrongly ( S
instead of R);
pages 9 ff: the names for nucleobases, nucleosides, and nucleotides are not always
used correctly;
page 16: hemoglobin is said to consist of
identical subunits;
the determination of the structure of
lysozyme by X-ray crystallography was
the first achieved for an enzyme, not for a
protein;
the statement that the active center is
usually in a hydrophilic environment is
over-simplified; the situation is described
correctly two pages later;
page 17: the definitions of H-donors and
H-acceptors given here are not the usual
ones;
page 46: in giving the specific activity the
protein concentration is referred to,
whereas this should instead be the protein
mass;
page 51: in the legend to Figure 4.5 the
symbol V should instead be v;
page 66: in the first paragraph C-2 should
be C-4;
page 69: the appendix does not give a solution to Problem 3;
page 87: transesterification is incorrectly
printed as “trans-esterification”, which is
likely to confuse (one wonders what cisesterification might mean!);
page 114: in mentioning cytochromes reference is made to Table 6.1. but the word
OS?O-OS33/97/3619-2130 $17.50+ .Sol0
Angew. Chem. I n f . Ed. Engl 1997,36,No. 19
BOOKS
cytochrome does not appear in the table
as such, nor does it in the index;
page 229: in the statement “. . . the C-1
centre is designated as S”,R should appear instead.
WolflPerer Kuhl and Karl-Heinz van Pee
Institut fur Biochemie
der Technische Universitat Dresden
(Germany)
NMR of Polymers. By F: A . Bovey
and P.A . Mireau. Academic Press,
San Diego, 1996. 459 pp., hardcover
%! 85.00.--ISBN 0-12-119765-4
The declared aim of this book is to
provide an overview of the applications of
NMR spectroscopy to polymer characterization. Frank A. Bovey and Peter A.
Mireau have succeeded well in their objective. Naturally, in view of the enormous
growth in the scope of this field, such an
overview cannot cover every aspect of the
current situation, and the authors make
this clear in their preface. Rather than attempting an exhaustive treatment, they
have set out to illustrate the range of
problems in the polymer sciences that can
be solved using NMR spectroscopy. The
particular strength of the book lies in the
adoption of this approach.
Chapter 1 explains the basic principles
of nuclear magnetic resonance at a level
understandable by the nonspecialist. The
authors provide a good introduction to
the subject, with a very broad choice of
material forming a grounding in the subject that is suitable for an interdisciplinary
readership. Thus we find, for example, a
drawing of a cross-section through a superconducting magnet, a description of
the frequency spectrum responsible for
magnetic relaxation, and detailed tables
of chemical shifts. A possible criticism is
that some of the figures are very basic and
lacking in detail, and contribute little to
the reader’s understanding. This applies,
for example, to Figure 1.5 showing the
separation of the alternating magnetic
field into two counterrotating components, and Figure 1.15 illustrating the
origin of the quadrupolar interaction. A
necessarily brief introduction such as this
cannot, of course, be expected to give the
newcomer a real working knowledge. Accordingly, the later discussions of specific
technique areas such as solid-state NMR
spectroscopy or two-dimensional NMR
methods are similarly limited to describing the most important pulse sequences
and the interpretation of the resulting
spectra.
AngrM Chenr Int Ed Engl. 1997.36, No 19
Chapter 2 begins with a brief and lucid
explanation of the different types of constitutional and configurational isomerism
of polymers. The authors then deal with
the various statistical models used to
derive the sequence frequencies of the
polymer chains resulting from different
growth mechanisms.
In Chapter 3 the reader learns how one
can determine the constitution and configuration of a polymer using high-resolution liquid-state NMR spectroscopy. This
chapter achieves its purpose very well by
using a large number of examples to illustrate how NMR spectroscopy can be
used. These begin with regioisomerism in
polythiophenes, and progress to problems
such as solvent association in solutions of
polymethylmethacrylate and polyvinylchloride. The reader’s understanding is
greatly helped by the frequent explanations of how one goes about predicting the
characteristic chemical shift for a given
structural element, using aids such as incremental rules, synthesizing model compounds, or recording multidimensional
spectra. The authors offer many helpful
hints on experimental aspects; for example, they point out that the chemical
shifts of methyl groups are especially sensitive to solvent effects.
Chapters 4 and 5 contain a very wideranging description of the capabilities of
solid-state NMR spectroscopy applied to
polymers. For example, the authors explain how the chain conformations of the
most important technical polymers can be
deduced from features in their 13C NMR
spectra, how one can study long-range
structures using a great variety of NMR
techniques, how the molecular mobilities
of the individual constituents in polymer
blends can be investigated, etc., etc. The
treatment is very up-to-date, as shown,
for example, by the fact that a large proportion of the book is devoted to multidimensional methods. The work is rounded
off by a very informative chapter on applications of NMR imaging.
The authors have been astute in their
choice of topics for inclusion in these
chapters. I noticed one error that has
crept in: in Figure 5.1 showing the spectral density for relaxation processes, the
extreme cases of very slow and very fast
relaxation have been interchanged, and
are opposite to those in Figure 1.8.
Which readers are most likely to benefit
from this book? It does not give enough
background on NMR fundamentals to
enable a newcomer to the field to make
effective use of the methods described. On
the other hand, experienced NMR users
will find nothing new here about techniques, although it may be useful in filling
0 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim,
1997
gaps in their knowledge of the literature.
Probably those most likely to find the
book useful are postgraduate students
and research scientists who have a special
interest in polymer science and are already
familiar with NMR methods. It will make
them aware of the wide variety of problems that can be investigated using NMR
spectroscopy, and will bridge the gaps in
their knowledge to enable them to use the
techniques effectively. For these readers
the outlay of $85.00 should prove both
worthwhile and profitable.
Bernhard Bliimich
Lehrstuhl fur Makromolekulare Chemie
der Technischen Hochschule
Aachen (Germany)
Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry.
How Drugs Act and Why. By A .
Gringauz. WILEY-VCH, Weinheim, 1997. 721 pp., hardcover,
DM 109.00.-ISBN 0-471-18545-0
Compared to the situation in other
countries, the facilities for teaching
medicinal chemistry in German universities, as an optional extra subject for students of organic or pharmaceutical chemistry, are somewhat rudimentary, despite
the fact that many graduates hope to find
work in pharmaceutical research. It is
not surprising, therefore, that whereas the
classical disciplines of chemistry are
served by a few good quality works for
each level of study, which have become
established as standard textbooks, it is
difficult to identify corresponding books
in the area of medicinal chemistry. Alex
Gringauz, the author of the book reviewed here, explains that it is intended
for students of pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, and aims to provide an introductory overview of this specialized
area of biomedical research. which is of
steadily growing importance. It contains
15 self-contained chapters, the first three
of which introduce the reader to the most
important concepts of the molecular
mechanisms involved in the activity of
pharmaceutical agents. These chapters,
occupying about 90 pages, explain the
principles of the molecular interactions
between low molecular weight compounds and macromolecular target systems, and discuss the various types of
metabolic breakdown reactions undergone by medicinal compounds in the biochemical context. Unfortunately, however, the stereochemical aspects which are
of such importance for pharmaceutical
research are only touched on briefly.
0570-0833/97/3619-2131$ 17.50+ ,5010
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