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Book Review The Chemistry of Nucleosides and Nucleotides. By A. M. Michelson

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p-, and d-orbitals, the explanation of the formation ofa- and-bonds according to the valence bond theory, and the stereochemical consequences of hybridization are discussed in a
new eleven-page section illustrated with numerous figures.
Brief reference is also made to the ligand field theory and its
more quantitative aspects. Considerable extensions have been
made to the chapters o n metal carbonyls and aromatic complexes, molecular spectroscopy (including nuclear magnetic
resonance), and the lattice structures of elements and compounds - a field that was hitherto only incompletely considered. One valuable didactic improvement in the textbook
is the enclosure of ‘‘three-dimensional” illustrations, which
when viewed through red/blue spectacles reproduce the stereoscopic images of the most important molecular and lattice
structures; this innovation will be especially welcomed by
younger student5 who are not yet accustomed to picturing
such structures in three dimensions. The atomic weights of
the elements are all referred to the new basis 12C = 12.000.
The historical and biographical appendices have been augmented, and both author index and subject index are included. Another welcome feature is the inclusion for the first
time of numerous references to review articles and monographs in order to facilitate further reading by those interested
in specialized topics of inorganic chemistry.
This new presentation of “Holleman-Wiberg” fulfills all the
requirements of a modern textbook o n inorganic chemistry,
and its clarity and topicality leaves nothing to be desired.
R. Nnst [NB 262/120 IE]
Fortschritte der Chemie organischer Naturstoffe (Advances in
the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products). Vol. XXI.
Edited by L. Zechmeister. Springer-Verlag, Vienna 1963.
1st Edit., VII
362 pp., 14 figs., linen D M 76.- (about
+
$19.50).
The high quality of previous contributions to this series has
been maintained in the present volume. W. Oroshnik and
A . D . Mebane discuss the chemistry of “Polyene Antifungal
Antibiotics”. Since all of these compounds are macrolides
and cannot be distinguished from other macrolides biogenetically, it would be better to designate them as polyene macrolides and thus avoid confusing them with acetylene antibiotics
such as mycornycin. The elucidation of the structures and the
chemical properties of tetracyclines are described by H. Muxfeldt and R . Bangert in a detailed review. Attempts at their
synthesis are mentioned only briefly here as they are to be
discussed in detail in a later contribution. Derivatives of
7,8,9,IO-tetrahydro-5,I2-tetracenoquinone
are termed anthracyclinones by H . Brockmnnn who gives the first comprehensive survey of this antibiotic natural pigment. L. Crombie reviews recent developments in the field of rotenoids, particularly the clarification of the absolute configurations of these
compounds. The chapters by J . Bonner on the biosynthesis of
rubber and by L. Jaenicke and C . Kurtrbnch on folic
acid and folate enzymes go beyond the conventional limits
ofthis series, for here it is mainly enzymatic reactions that are
discussed. Although the interest of natural-product chemists
in biochemistry is increasing constantly, the reviewer doubts
that extension of the coverage of the series in this direction in
future volumes would be advantageous.
A study of Vol. 21 will also be most profitable even to those
whose interests are only remotely connected to the chemistry
of natural products. It would be good if the publishers decided to designate the formulae with Arabic numerals.
H . Grisebcrch [NB 246/104 IE]
Allgemeine Biochemie. By J. Kostir. VEB Gustav Fischer
Verlag,Jena 1963. 1st Edit., xiv 509 pp., 24 figs., 3 tables,
linen D M 64.70 (about $16.50).
+
Textbooks on biochemistry tend to emphasize either the biological aspects or the chemical aspects of the subject. In his
“General Biochemistry” J. Kostir attempts to present both
points of view in a manner advantageous to the student. The
266
chemical portion is placed in the foreground; its content is
more than sufficient to satisfy the needs of the medical student. On the other hand, the presentation of the functional
topics is less gratifying. Even though some new results have
been considered, the outlay and description of functional processes are not in keeping with a modern short presentation of
the field of biochemistry. This already becomes apparent from
the arrangement of the material, where, for example, the concept of “biocatalysis” is prominently displayed; although this
may have been a valuable approach at one time, it is didactically erroneous nowadays. The book is valuable as a supplementary textbook, since it attempts to reproduce a condensed
but comprehensive coverage of the whole field. However, it is
not to be recommended as sole textbook for a n introduction to
M. Klingenberg [ N B 247/105 IE]
The Chemistry of Nucleosides and Nucleotides. By A . M .
Michelson. Academic Press, Inc., London-New York 1963.
1st Edit., ix
622 pp., several figs. and tables, linen G6.6.0
(about 517.50).
Following a short historical introduction, the first two chapters describe the isolation, structure, chemical properties, and
chemical syntheses of nucleosides and nucleotides, their intramolecular anhydrides, and cyclonucleosides and cyclic nucleotides. I n Chapter 4 mixed anhydrides of nucleoside phosphates with other acids are discussed, according to the same
pattern. This group includes nucleoside diphosphates and triphosphates and their compounds with sugars and peptides,
diphosphopyridine nucleotide and triphosphopyridine nucleotide, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, and mixed anhydrides with sulfuric acid, carbonic acid, and organic acids.
After the section o n the chemical syntheses of these compounds, the next chapter deals with their biosynthesis. Chapters 6-9 are devoted to high molecular-weight nucleic acids.
The organic chemistry of nucleic acids is dealt with first, emphasis being on the purification, isolation, and identification
of these substances and on their chemical and enzymatic reactions. In the next chapter, the various possibilities for synthesizing oligonucleotides are described. This is followed by
discussion of the physical chemistry of nucleic acids: this
section includes, for example, the investigations o n their hypochroism and other optical properties, their hydrogen-bond
formation, the formation of double helices, the determination
of their charge, their viscosities, their flow birefringence, and
the processes occurring during their denaturation and renaturation. I n the concluding chapter a short survey is given
of the biological functions of nucleic acids, including a discussion of transformation and transduction and of their
importance for protein synthesis. As already indicated by the
title of the book, it is the chemistry of the nucleic acids that is
emphasised, in accordance with the field of research of the
author who is himself a prominent nucleic-acid chemist. The
individual sections have been worked out with great care and
criticism and are amply illustrated by numerous formulae. The
volume contains over 2000 references divided into groups at
the end of each chapter.
Factual information in this field is increasing so rapidly that
it is hardly longer surveyable without the aid of this excellent
book. Despite its shortness, the immensity of its content
makes it more a work of reference than a textbook.
The reviewer himself has often consulted the book as regards
his own work for some time now, and can therefore say from
his own experience that it will be needed by everyone wanting
to work in the field of nucleic acids.
C . Schramm [NB 281/139 IE]
+
Methods in Carbohydrate Chemistry. Edited by R . L. Whistler,
R . J . Smith, J . N. BeMiller, and M . L. Wolfrom. Vol. IV:
Starch. Academic Press, New York-London 1964. IstEdit.,
335 p?., numerous illustrations and tables, linen
xvi
$13.50.
The chemistry of starch is complicated by differences in its
composition depending o n its source, by its formation from
+
Angew. Chem. internot. Edit.
Vol. 4(1965)
/ No. 3
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