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Book Review Methods of Enzymatic Analysis. Volume 8. Metabolites 3 Lipids Amino Acids and Related Compounds. Edited by H. U. Bergmeyer J. Bergmeyer and M

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often evident from their titles. Here, on the other hand, it
tends to be assumed that not only undergraduates, but also
post-graduate students reading for diplomas and even for
doctoral higher degrees can learn about the whole of organic chemistry from books of the former kind. In other
words, these books are suited only to a very limited extent
for our (present) courses of study; they are too comprehensive for undergraduates, while for post-graduates o r for
those already in professional jobs they d o not go far
enough, containing insufficient detailed information for
these users.
What, then, are the essential features of an organic
chemistry textbook which is better suited to our present
time and circumstances? It needs to combine the best characteristics of the two traditions, i.e. it must be up-to-date,
lucid, and written from a standpoint of theory and mechanism in the manner of an Anglo-Saxon textbook, while
having the encyclopedic and practically-orientated qualities of a traditional German textbook. A hopeless undertaking? Not, it appears, for Siegfried Hauptman of the
Karl-Marx University, Leipzig, who has attempted singlehandedly to achieve such a synthesis. His “Organic Chemistry” is indeed modern in concept, as is illustrated by the
wealth of topics that are treated. These range from the
planning of a synthesis to the use of the published chemical literature, from organometallic chemistry to photochemistry and dyestuffs chemistry, from stereochemistry
and bonding theory to spectroscopic methods, and many
more topics, with nothing of importance omitted. The
book is traditional in that it contains a large amount of
factual data on substances (melting and boiling points, color, toxicity, etc.), so that one no longer needs to reach for
“Karrer” or another classical reference work when these
data are needed in a hurry. Many of the old named reactions and historical and biographical details are also referred to. Extensive chapters are given to heterocyclic chemistry, neglected by many other textbooks, and the sections
on natural products, with their treatments of the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, extend into biochemistry.
Can all this be covered in only 893 pages? It has been
helped mainly by the use of a closely spaced text, and by
the frequent use of small type and tables. Nevertheless, the
question is not so easily dismissed. Covering so many topics incurs risks of a degree of eclecticism, of the bare cataloguing of facts without discussing them, and of underestimating the difficulties faced by the beginner. Thus, for
example, the Huckel theory is presented in a way which,
though quite correct, is very compressed. I doubt whether
the beginner can understand every step of this. In these
sections, which come quite early in the book, there is a
great risk of encouraging the reader to form habits of blind
acceptance and mindless rote learning. Also the pages
dealing with the statistical basis of chemistry (MaxwellBoltzmann statistics, statistical mechanics, etc.) are in my
view too much of a good thing-these topics are best left
to textbooks on physical chemistry.
The author sometimes falls into the trap of “name-dropping”. To mention just two examples, when he mentions
spiroconjugation (p. 789) o r trimethylsilyl enol ethers in
synthesis (p. 551), each in just a single sentence, the reader
has encountered a new word but not understood its meaning.
There are remarkably few typographical and factual errors; there is no need to detail them here, as most of them
d o not confuse the meaning. In future editions no doubt
the two pentavalent carbon atoms on p. 501 will disappear.
272
More important, though, is the need to address the book
more clearly to an international readership, rather than referring to commercial products only by the names used in
the G D R ; readers here would prefer to see also names
such as nylon, Perlon and aspirin!
On the whole, though, these shortcomings, which are
mostly rather better described as aberrations, d o not detract significantly from the quality of the book. Hauptmann
has successfully written a textbook of the eighties which is
suited to our needs. He is to be congratulated on this
achievement, which is in no way diminished by the fact
that the book is in many respects similar to the earlier organic chemistry textbook by Hauptmann, Grafe, and Remane, and owes quite a lot to it. This book, which represents amazingly good value at the price (DM 48.00!) deserves a very wide circulation, amongst students, to learn
from it, and amongst lecturers, to teach-and test-from
it.
Henning Hopf [NB 774 IE]
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Technischen Universitat Braunschweig (FRG)
Methods of Enzymatic Analysis. Volume 8. Metabolites 3:
Lipids, Amino Acids, and Related Compounds. Edited by
H . U . Bergmeyer, J . Bergmeyer, and M . Grassl. VC H
Verlagsgesellschaft Weinheim 1985. xxx, 629 pp., bound,
Price per volume when ordering the complete work DM
285.00; single volumes DM 325.00.- ISBN 3-527-26048X
Volume 8 is the third volume of the third edition to describe methods of analysis for specific metabolites. Its
three chapters cover analyses for lipids, amino acids, and
amino acid-related compounds, respectively.
The first chapter, which constitutes half of the volume,
comprises six sections covering fatty acids and derivatives,
phospholipids, apolipoproteins, cholesterol, steroid hormones, and bile acids. Generally, sections divide further
into subsections, each of which discusses assay procedures
for a single metabolite. Chapter 1 contains much more material than does the corresponding section of the second
edition. It reflects the recent development of powerful enzyme immunoassay (EIA) techniques, especially in determinations of apolipoproteins and steroid hormones. Nicotinamide cofactor-linked assays for prostaglandins, 20-ketosteroids, and steroid alcohols are replaced by more specific EIA methods. Other methods that have been updated
since the second edition are those for triglycerides, free
fatty acids, D-( -)-3-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol, and bile acids. The discussion
of cholesterol is expanded and includes methods for the
specific determination of high-density lipoprotein and
low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in addition to total
cholesterol. The section on bile acids is likewise expanded
to include methods specific for 3-a-hydroxy or 7-a-hydroxy bile acids as well as methods for total bile acids. The
section on 7-a-hydroxy bile acids includes a description of
a continuous-flow assay system using immobilized enzymes. Metabolites covered for the first time in the third
edition are thromboxane B2, succinylacetone, sorbic acid,
sphingomyelin, glycerophosphorylcholine, phosphatidylcholine, and apo-lipoproteins.
Chapters 2 and 3 discuss methods of analysis for amino
acids and amino acid-related compounds, respectively.
Angew. Chem. Inr. Ed. Engl 26 (1987)
No. 3
The chapters divide into sections, each of which covers
procedures for a single compound or a few related compounds. Two-thirds of the assays of the second edition are
repeated in Volume 8. The use of isotope dilution in the
tRNA loading test for individual L-amino acids is not repeated, however. Assays revised in Volume 8 are those for
branched-chain L-amino acids, L-phenylalanine and tyrosine, L-serine, L-lysine, D-aminO acids, carbamoyl phosphate, carnitine and acylcarnitines, glutathione, spermine,
and spermidine. Compounds addressed for the first time
are 2,6-diaminopimelate, citrulline, octopine, arginine and
arginine phosphate, histamine, catacholamines, secretonin,
polyamines, rneso-alanopine and D-strombine, and bilirubin. Volume 8 eliminates discussion of some compounds
covered in the second edition-y-aminobutyric acid, 3-hydroxykynurenine, and 3-hydroxyanthanilic acid-and
does not include assays for tryptophan, methionine,
threonine, cysteine/cystine, histidine, ornithine, or B-alanine.
As in previous volumes of the third edition, each section
on a particular metabolite begins with the compound’s
structure. A general introduction discusses the occurrence,
function, anabolism and catabolism of the compound in
vivo, methods available for the compound’s determination,
substance properties relevant to analysis, applications of
the analysis, and international reference standards and
methods. The review of other methods of analysis provides
a useful evaluation of their advantages and disadvantages.
An explicit description of the assay procedure follows.
This description includes discussion of the assay design,
optimized conditions, equipment (both general and specialized), reagents (including preparation, purity required,
and stability), preparation and stability of samples, and
calculations. Each section concludes with information on
the precision, accuracy, sensitivity, limits of detection,
sources of error, and specificity of the method plus reference values for the levels of the metabolite in both normal
and abnormal tissues and fluids. Appendices to the sections contain special procedures required for the assay, including the preparation of appropriate antibodies for EIA,
isolation and immobilization of certain enzymes, preparation of tissues and other physiological samples, and the
preparation of special electrodes.
Volume 8 is devoted to material given only 250 pages in
the second edition. It contains more background and explanatory text than corresponding sections of the second
edition. Each section contains ten to twenty references, including some as recent as 1983 and 1984. Several appendices provide definitions for common symbols, units, and
abbreviations and list helpful constants and formulae. The
format is quite convenient and amenable to use by workers
unfamiliar with enzymatic analyses. The descriptions of
procedures are highly detailed, cookbook-style, sometimes
even providing sources of particular reagents. As in previous volumes, a drawback is an incomplete index.
This volume is not a comprehensive text, and is not as
extensive in the number of assays contained as some of the
previous volumes. Still, it contains assays for approximately seventy compounds, many of which are of great
biological significance. The chapter o n lipids has more
than tripled since the second edition. This volume is recommended as a valuable reference work for those doing
analyses of biological materials.
H . Keith Chenault, Alan Akiyama.
and George M . Whitesides [NB 779 IE]
Department of Chemistry, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02 138 (USA)
Angew. Chem. I n t . Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 3
Instrurnentelle Multielernentanalyse. Edited by B . Sansoni.
VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1985. xviii, 782 pp.,
bound, D M 160.00.--ISBN 3-527-26255-3
“The analyst’s dream of being able to determine in a single operation all the elements present in a sample appears
to be coming close to a reality. Instrumental multi-element
analysis allows one to determine u p to eighty elements
simultaneously.” So runs the blurb given for the thick volume named above. The reader can learn to what extent
that dream has been realized from this book, excellently
produced and edited, which contains the 87 papers presented at a conference on the subject held at the KFA (Nuclear Research Center), Jiilich, on April 2-5, 1984. Under
the auspices of the eight groups which organized the meeting (A.M.S.EI., Arbeitskreis Radioanalytik, AFR, VDEh,
DPG Mass Spectrometry Group, GDCh, Deutsche Bunsengesellschaft, and the Geochemical Section of the German Mineralogical Society), the delegates reported on research progress and their experiences with the various
multi-element techniques.
Following a detailed and critical introductory survey by
the editor (including references to the most important
works published u p to 1984), the introduction continues
with contributions on important trends and on practical
problems from the standpoint of academic and industrial
scientists. The first four chapters describe determination
techniques, other procedures involved in analysis, applications, and comparisons of different techniques.
The following analytical methods are covered : nuclear
radiation spectrometry (2 papers), activation analysis (1 3
papers), mass spectrometry (4papers), ICP mass spectrometry (1 paper), X-ray fluorescence analysis (6 papers),
atomic emission spectrometry (9 papers), forward scattering (2 papers), atomic fluorescence spectrometry (1 paper),
atomic absorption spectrometry (1 paper), voltammetry ( I
paper), and ion chromatography (1 paper). The chapter on
“Other Analytical Procedures” contains excellent critical
contributions on pre-concentration, standards, and data
processing and evaluation, the latter being considered also
from the standpoint of industrial practice. The chapter on
“Applications” contains informative contributions from
the fields of geoscience (10 papers), environmental studies
(4 papers), materials science (1 paper), life sciences and
food science (3 papers), radiochemistry and nuclear chemistry (4 papers), archeometry (3 papers), and simultaneous
elemental analyses by ICP spectrometry as part of a research center’s analytical service (1 paper). The book is
rounded off by five papers which compare different techniques, including ICP and D C P atomic emission spectroscopies, AA spectroscopy, X R F spectroscopy, synchrotron
radiation XRF, FMS, and neutron activation analysis, by a
survey of instruments and manufacturers, and by a comprehensive list of abbreviations commonly used in instrumental analysis, and a good subject index.
The satisfaction of reading this book is increased by the
fact that it gives a really up-to-date picture of the current
state of elemental trace analysis. The organizers of the conference have succeeded in striking a good balance between
the monotechnique specialists, who are usually unduly optimistic about “their” method, and the more pessimistically inclined application strategists. To the optimists the
search for improvements in detection capability (often
confused with limits of detection) appears to result in
steady progress, even though one continues to seek to demonstrate also the accuracy of a particular method by analyzing a small number of selected standard materials.
However, results which are entirely valid in the ppm range
273
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