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Book Review The Monosaccharides. By J. Stank M. erny J. Kocourek and J

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concerning the nature of the bonding, and stability problems,
particularly in connection with coordinatioh). These include,
for example “Die Bedeutung quantenmechanischer Modelle
fur die Chemie” (the importance of quantum-mechanical
models in chemistry) by H . Hartmann, “Inorganic Chromophores” by C. K. Jiirgensen, “The Stabilisation, Stereochemistry, and Reactivity of Five-coordinated Compounds” by
R . S. Nyholm and M. L. Tobe, and the “Structure and Bonding in Transition Metal Complexes of Some Unsaturated
Ligands” by R . Masea and G . Wilkensen.
0 . Schrnifz-DuMonf [NB 333!191 IE]
Chemotaxonomie der Pffanzen (Chemical Taxonomy of
Plants). By R . Hegnauer. Vol. 3 . Dicotyledoneae. Part I :
Acanthaceak-Cyrillaceae. Chemical Series, Vol. 18. Birkhauser Verlag, Basel-Stuttgart 1964. 1st edit., 744 pp.,
14 figs., 17 tables, clothbound D M 123.-‘(about S 31.50).
When conservative, stdndards afe applied, dicotyledons are
divided into about 270 fahilies; 79 of these are discussed in
the present volume [I]. The book therefore d g l s with some
3500 genera comprising about 45000 species. These include
some very large families or genera ‘that are important in
other connections, including the Compositae, the Ap3cynaceae, Cruciferae, e f c . Chemists interested in plant
products will therefore want to inspect this volume .with
careful attention.
The organization of the material within each family discussed
corresponds to that used in earlier volumes: first come a
short botanical description and the systematic classification,
then a summary of important morphological and chemical
characteristics, the latter frequently being subdivided according to substance classes, and finally literature references and
concluding remarks which contain the essence of the taxonomic features of the plants. Mostly the main chemical
constituents of the plants are critically appraised here
whenever they appear very frequently in a certain family
and are highly typical for it in contrast to other families. In
this way, sometimes clear-cut decisions can be made in favor
of one of another known system of plants. The dangers of
taxonomic classifications based on single substances are
emphasized. There are of course many examples of individual chemical compounds that occur sporadically in
plants which are definitely not interrelated, e . g . lysergic
acid derivatives in certain species of Convulvulaceae or Ascomycetes. The reader again observes that extremely widespread and thoroughly investigated materials such as
the carotenoids contribute but little to the solution of
taxonomic problems.
In contrast to the volumes that have already appeared, on
account of the immense amodnt of material dealt with,
the literature and individual compounds have not been
comprehensively reviewed. Nonetheless, a great deal of
otherwise difficultly accessible literature has been evaluated.
The organic chemist will be surprised to find that the formulae shown have again been drawn with complete disregard
of the stereochemistry of the compounds concerned. The
author indicates many deficiencies in phytochemical research
and may thus provide incentives for new research wprk.
Misprints and factual errors are few; the quality of the paper,
print and binding are as usual excellent.
C . H . Eugster
[NB 4091266 I € ]
The Monosaccharides. By J. Starze‘k, M . Cerny, J. Kocourek,
and J. Pacak. Academic Press, New York-London, and
Publishing House of the Czechoslovakian Academy of
Sciences, Prague, 1963. 1st edit., 1006 pp., 40 figs., 64
tables, linen $ 32.-.
An English translation is now available of the book “Monosacharidy” by J. Stanlk et al. The appearance of this translation is to be welcomed, for now this monograph o n a well
111 Forreviewsof\lols. 1 and2seeAngew. Chem. 76, 312(39643;
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. 3,452 (1964).
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. 1 VoI. 4 (1965)
1 No. 8
defined section of carbohydrate chemistry is available to a
much larger public. The English edition is not merely a
s:mple translation of the first Czechoslovakian edition; the
contents have been considerably reshuffled and extended,
producing a great improvement in the book. Moreover, work
published up until about 1962 has now also been included.
In the monograph, the most diverse derivatives of this class
of substances are described, and their manifold reactions are
discussed in detail, often exhaustively. l’he specialist in this
field will therefore gladly take first recourse to this work for
rapid orientation. The book is also aimed at satisfying the
demands of other chemists associated in part with carbohydrate chemistry in close connection. with their own investigations, e . g . biochemisrs and iiidustrial chemists, for
here they find a well arrgnged wealth of information. Numerous tablesinterspersed between the text give rapid informa$ion on the derivatives of the monosaccharides prepared to
date. The l-ist of references given has been compiled with
especial care. Each chapter contains references t o large review
articles to facilitate the search for particular details or for
original publications. The literature from relatively obscure
journals has also been almost completely scanned,’and even
the specialist may find many a reference he has previously
overlooked. ,
The book contains a short but fully satisfactory chapter for
superficial information on tke biochemical syntheses and
conversions of sugars in biological systems. Further details
on this rapidly advancing subject can be found in scientific
journals in any case. However, a more extensive treatment of
modern investigations into stereochemical topics and reaction
mechanisms would have been preferable. Aspects such as
conformational analysis, the mechanisms of substitution
reactions and the associated questions of stereochemistry and
neighboring-group participation, and applications of N M R
spectroscopy are at the focus of attention in the carbohydrate
field a t present and will be studied more intensely in future.
These suggestions might be considered for future editions.
The present volume is thus a n important source of information for a large circle of users and deserves a place in every
chemical library. A second volume on“The Oligosaccharides”
has already been announced which ought to provide a
supplement to the present book.
H . Paulsen
[NB 3701228 lE]
The Proteins. Composition, Structure, and Function. Vol. 1.
Edited by H . Neurufh. Academic Press, NewYork-London
1963. 2nd edit., XI11 f 665 pp., numerous illustrs. and
tables, linen S 22.-.
The following topics are dealt with in six chapters: l.“AminoAcid Analysis of Peptides and Proteins” ( A . Light and E. L.
Smith) with an appendix on “Amino-Acid Analysis of
Certain Proteins” by G . R. Tristrum and R. H . Smith;
2. “Synthesis and Function of Peptides of Biological Interest”
(K. Hofmann and P. G . Kafsoyannis); 3. “Chemical Aspects
of Protein Synthesis” (J. S. Fruton); 4 . “Concepts and
Experimental Approaches in the Determination of the
Primary Structure of Proteins” ( R . E. Canfield and C . B.
Anfinson); 5 . “Intramolecular Bonds in Proteins, I. The
Role of Sulfur in Proteins” ( R . Cecil); 6. “11. Non-covalent
Bonds” (H. A. Scheragu).
The survey shows that the subjects dealt with are arranged
less systematically than in the first edition, being aimed more
directly at individual acute problems. The subtitle of the
book reveals the reason for this selection, namely the coordination of chemical structure and biological function, as is
prominently apparent,, particularly in the second chapter.
Following a discussion of the modern methods of peptide
synthesis, their application to the preparation of hypophyseal
hormone, angiotensin, bradykinin, and kallidin peptides is
described, and the structure-function relationships are
illuminated, particularly for the oxytocin-vasopressin group
and for the melanophore-stimulating systems. The first
chapter is also highly instructive, but a little more emphasis
723
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