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Book Review Stoffwechsel der Galaktose und ihrer Derivate. (Metabolism of Galactose and its Derivatives). From the series УBiochemie und KlinikФ. By W. Fischer and H. Weinland. Edited by G. Weitzel and N. Zllner

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warmly welcome the detailed description of analytical methods for adrenal hormones.
There are a few printing errors, and some sentences sound
unusual to the chemist, but these are only minor blemishes.
The book is at once textbook, laboratory guide, and reference work, and with its 1275 literature citations is a rich
source of references.
E. Gerhards
[NB 4661319 IE]
Stoffwechsel der Galaktose und ihrer Derivate. (Metabolism
of Galactose and its Derivatives). From the series “Biochemie und Klinik”. By W . Fischer and H. Weinland.
Edited by G . Weitzel and N . Zollner. Georg Thieme Verlag. Stuttgart 1965. 1st Edit., xii + 256 pp., 5 1 figs.,
82 tables, cardboard D M 59.- (about $14.50).
Anyone who does not already know it will be convinced by
reading this book that galactose is one of the most widely
distributed constituents of living systems. It is a component
of the oligosaccharides that occur in high concentration in
the capillary fluids of plants and are responsible for transport
of the products of assimilation from the leaves to those parts
of the plant that do not assimilate. It is a component of the
cell walls and membranes of the most varied organisms. It
contributes to the formation of cerebrosides and gangliosides,
and as galactolipids constitutes a notable proportion of the
lipid fraction of green leaves. Also it plays an almost unique
role as a constituent of lactose in the milk of mammals. Its
importance is evident also from the dynamics of formation
and decomposition of galactose-containing compounds. On
infusion into the circulation it is resorbed much faster than
any other monosaccharide, and as a component of the lipid
fraction of green algae it is the fraction that takes up radioactivity from “CO2 fastest and to the greatest extent. The
great importance of galactose metabolism in man is shown
by the catastrophic results that follow a defect in the enzyme
system responsible for utilization of galactose in the suckling
(galactosemia).
All these and many other aspects of the metabolism of
galactose and galactose-containing compounds are carefully
and comprehensively reviewed and discussed in the present
book. There are more than 3000 references, partly extending
to 1965. Thus this book will be most warmly welcomed by all
who work in this field or might like to do so: it will save
them much literature searching; and in particular it is a rich
source for the less accessible, older literature that is often
forgotten.
If the reviewer were asked how an ideal book on galactose
would differ from the present one, the following points
would arise. 1 . It would not contain linear projections for
all structural formulae’of sugars, as these give no indication
of reactivity 2. It would have a chapter on the detection
and determination of galactose, galactose derivatives, and
galactose-affecting enzymes. There is, it is true, a reference,
in two lines of small type to an enzymic method of determining galactose, but paper- and gas-chromatographic
analysis are not mentioned, nor is diagnosis of galactosemia
or determination of galactose loading. 3. The ideal book
would lay less emphasis on some statements from the
literature, just because of its greater emphasis on analytical
aspects. For instance, it depends on the method of determination whether or not free galactose is “completely
absent” from blood on failing exogenic addition. The high
content in Forsythia pollen mentioned in “Occurrence of
Lactose in Plants” has been found to be erroneous [Chem.
Ber. 93, 1009 (1960)], fission of 0-methylated galactosides
by galactosidase depending on the nature of the aglycone.
The tables showing acceleration of mutarotation by mutarotases are useless without statement of the experimental
conditions and the quantities of enzymes. Some rules can
be laid down for acceptor specificity in transfer reactions,
and in the framework of induction of the lac-operon of
E. coli there is a biological meaning to the transgalactosidaAngew. Chem. internat. Edit. 1 Vol. 5 (1966) 1 No. 8
tion, lactose + allolactose - at least in the coli bacterium.
In sum, however, this monograph is to be rated a valuable
addition to the literature.
K. Wallenfels [NB 4121325 IE]
Lignin Biochemistry. By W. J. Schubert. Academic Press,
New York-London 1965. ix 131 pp., 17 figs., 26 tables,
linen $8.-.
+
The size of this little monograph is alreadyenough to show that
it provides only a somewhat superficial discussion of its subject.
The value of the book residues in the fact that it is primarily
a review of the numerous contributions made to the biochemistry of lignin from the Laboratories of Organic Chemistry and Enzymology of the Fordham University in New
York which endeavors to show how these results fit into the
overall picture of the current knowledge of lignification and
its associated phenomena. This approach is necessarily accompanied by limitation of the extent to which the work of
other groups is evaluated, if at all, and consequently irregularities in the overall perspective may result. The user of the
book who is not a thorough expert in this field must bear this
in mind, otherwise he may obtain only a somewhat incomplete and slightly distorted picture of the present status of
knowledge on the processes of lignification. For instance,
there is no mention of the numerous studies of lignification
that have been carried out with plant tissue cultures, whereas
the metabolism of methyl p-methoxycinnamate in a single
microorganism is discussed at length, even though this has
no direct connection with lignification.
The text is divided into four main sections: a short introduction to the chemistry of lignin (37 pp.), a description of the
biogenesis of aromatic compounds in microorganisms (12 pp.)
because of its significance for the corresponding processes in
higher plants (described on 20 pp.), and a discourse on the
microbiological degradation of lignin. The treatment is concise and readily understandable throughout. A subject index
with about 450 entries and an author index containing about
270 names combine with the attractively presented formulae
to make a most useable volume.
J. M. Harkin
[NB 482 IE]
Conformation Theory. By M . Hanack. Transl. from the
German manuscript by H. C . Neumann. Vol. 3. Organic
Chemistry, a Series of Monographs“]. Edited by A . T.
Blomquist. Academic Press, New York-London 1965. 1st
Edit., ix + 382 pp., numerous figs. and tables, bound
$14.50.
Evidently there is a need for textbooks and monographs giving a comprehensive survey of the development of organic
stereochemistry, for after a long period of quiet there now appear numerous books concerned with this subject at various
levels. One of the most important recent advances in stereochemistry is the widespread and logical use of the concept of
conformation, with the theoretical prediction and the experimental determination of the properties of the different conformations of a molecule that are termed conformational
analysis.
“Conformational Analysis”, the comprehensive monograph
by E. L. Eliel, N . L. Allinger, S . J. Angyal, and G. A. Morrison, and the present book, “Conformation Theory” 121 by
Hanack have been published within a short interval.
In a field that is. in rapid development it is. no simple task to
keep a due proportion between the importance and the quantity of the materialdiscussed, and it is interesting to compare
these two new books on conEarmations in this respect.
Hanack’s book is less comprehenswe and goes less deep than
that of EIiel et al. and will be preferred mainly by those or[l] Cf. Angew. Chem. 73, 304 (1961).
[2] This title seems unfortunate, for there is no question of a
theory here.
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ihre, klinike, series, der, galactose, уbiochemie, fischer, derivatives, und, book, metabolico, weinland, edited, galaktose, derivata, review, weitzel, stoffwechsel, zllner
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