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Book Review Volume 4. The Practice of Biotechnology Speciality Products and Service Activities. Volume editors C. W. Robinson and J. A. Howell

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tion systems, including coverage of test procedures for air
filtration. The next chapter discusses problems associated
with media sterilization. The treatment of heat management in fermentation processes in the chapter that follows
is considered to be inadequate.
The discussion of the unit operations of downstream
processing begins with the disruption of microbial cells. It
is considered that industrial use of disruption techniques
could have been given greater coverage. The chapter on
centrifugation reflects the state of technology in this area;
it even addresses sterility and containment problems and
puts forward suggestions for their solution.
Filtration processes are discussed in five chapters. Since
crossflow filtration is the process generally used today, it is
accorded considerable space. The discussion of membrane
types and membrane methods is also vivified by examples
of industrial applications. Ultrafiltration is dealt with in
two large chapters in which the theory of the process, its
economics and its biotechnological applications are discussed. The literature references on this fast growing technique are u p to date.
Liquid-liquid extractions are discussed in two chapters.
The first one in which examples relating to the production
of antibiotics are given, is not of a particularly satisfactory
standard because apart from the discussion of penicillin
extraction processes, it does not present any recent data on
extraction with organic solvents. The second of these two
chapters reviews the latest developments in aqueous phase
systems, contains a large number of tables giving examples
of applications and listing methods, and discusses scale-up
of the technology for the isolation of biopolymers.
The use of ion exchangers for the recovery of antibiotics
and proteins is addressed in two relatively short chapters.
The contributions on the unit operations of chromatography discuss methodologies and the constraints on their use
at industrial level.
The section on upstream and downstream processing
concludes with a discussion of the distillation system as a
critical cost factor in the recovery of ethanol, a chapter on
supercritical fluid extraction, and a contribution on the
state of technology in electrodialysis.
It is considered that this volume, in its treatment of fermentation technology, fails to match the quality of comparable standard works. On the other hand, some of the
unit operations addressed in the chapters on downstream
processing are described in an excellent manner.
Wulf Crueger
Bayer AG, Wuppertal (FRG)
Volume 3. The Practice of Biotechnology: Current Commodity Products. Volume editors: H . W. Blanch, S .
Drew, and D. I . C . Wung. xxv, 1136 pp., bound.-ISBN
0-08-03251 1-4
Following the discussion of the biological and engineering fundamentals of biotechnology in the first two volumes, Volume 3 provides a comprehensive overview of the
products manufactured by biotechnological processes.
The book consists of fifty chapters organized in three
sections. The first section describes the processes employed for manufacturing healthcare products. As one
might expect, the largest amount of space in this section is
devoted to processes for the production of antibiotics.
Subjects addressed in other contributions include production and purification technologies for the development of
590
anticancer agents; functions, production and uses of siderophores ; bioconversions of steroids ; microbial production of human proteins by recombinant DNA technology.
The inclusion in this section of additional chapters on the
production of vitamins, vaccines and immune globulins
would have completed the spectrum of products in the
healthcare sector.
In the second section of volume 3, processes are presented for the production of food and beverage products.
The main emphasis is on descriptions of the classical technologies for the production of alcoholic beverages, cheese,
fermented dairy products, bakers’ yeast, and amino acids.
Other topics addressed are biomass production and the
processes employed in the Far East for the production of
traditional fermented soybean foods.
The third and last section is devoted to those products
which, in terms of quantity, play a key role as startingmaterials for the production of industrial chemicals (organic
acids), biochemicals (hydrolytic enzymes) and fuels (ethanol).
Each of the three sections begins with a chapter dealing
with the current market situation and the general problems
of project selection and development in the particular
product category. The following chapters furnish information on development and optimization of processes for the
manufacture of individual products. Readers are provided,
inter alia, with data on the biology and physiology of the
microorganisms, on biosynthetic pathways, on production
processes and product recovery (usually illustrated by diagrams), on production costs, and on the limitations of the
different processes. These aspects are treated at varying
depth by the respective authors. Notwithstanding, in its entirety the presented information provides a most useful
overview of the state of research for anyone wishing to acquire a general insight into one of the areas covered. To
obtain knowledge of much greater depth, readers are provided at the end of each chapter with a comprehensive bibliography generally containing references also to recent
publications.
The authors of the third volume have succeeded convincingly in demonstrating how biological and engineering
principles are translated into industrial processes so that
this volume usefully complements the first two of the set.
In view of the wealth of information it contains and the
manner in which it is presented, it is considered that this
volume compares most favorably with other standard
works on industrial microbiology, and it can be recommended to anyone seeking a reference work on this field.
Worfram Andersch
Bayer AG, Leverkusen (FRG)
Volume 4. The Practice of Biotechnology : Speciality Products and Service Activities. Volume editors: C. W. Robinson and J . A . Howell. xxix, 1308 pp., bound.-ISBN 008-0325 12-2
In contrast to the preceding volumes, the fourth volume
of the set is very heterogeneous in its coverage of subject
matter. Section 1 (Specialized Activities and Potential Applications) presents diverse new biotechnologies and bioprocesses considered to show promise of finding widespread applications in biomedicine, agriculture, process
engineering and analysis. Section 2 addresses legal aspects
of biotechnology, and Section 3 examines problems associated with waste management and pollution control.
Angew. Chem. lnr. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 6
The reviewer’s curiosity was focussed first and foremostly on the contributions in Section 1 since some of the
areas covered are witnessing such a rapid pace of new developments that the quality of a book devoted to these subjects obviously must be judged by the topicality of the information it contains and the manner in which it is presented. I t is, however, generally concluded that the standard of these contributions by no means fully satisfies the
claims formulated in the foreword. It is considered that
this is mainly due, on the one hand, to the failure of most
of the authors to relate their subject matter to the potentialities of technologies for product development, and, on
the other hand, to the fact that the deadline set for receipt
of most of the publications was 1982 yet they were not
printed until three years later. Consequently, many of the
biotechnological developments on which current interest is
focussed, are not given adequate coverage.
The acknowledged authority G . S . Eisenbarfh, in his
contribution entitled “Monoclonal Antibodies”, devotes
only three sentences to the potential of monoclonal antibodies to replace conventional antibodies in assays. This
fails to take consideration of the multiple development of
new diagnostic agents; the use of monoclonal antibodies
in downstream processing is not mentioned at all.
G . Gregoriadis discusses liposomes only in relation to
their use as a drug delivery system, giving no regard to
their use in bioprocess technology.
In the chapter by K . K a n o on the rapidly developing
field of Transplantation Immunology, the most recent literature reference cited by this author dates back to 1980!
In some of the articles, the literature references leave
much to be desired not only in their up-to-dateness but
also in balance of emphasis. T. M. S . Chang in his article
on “Artificial Cells” gives more than 100 references to his
own work (a few selected review articles would have sufficed), and the authors of the chapter “Surface Thermodynamics of Cellular and Protein Interactions” cite only their
own work or that of their research group.
The relationship between biotechnology and agriculture
is not adequately established. In fact, only one example is
given to illustrate the potentialities of genetic engineering
for the transfer of herbicide resistance.
The anthelmintic 22,23-dihydroavermectin B,,, a biotechnological product for agriculture, which has a large
sales volume, is not even mentioned.
However, Sections 2 and 3 of the fourth volume (“Governmental Regulations and Concerns” and “Waste Management and Pollution Control”) both provide a good insight into the topics covered. Here too, though, it has to be
pointed out that, especially in the discussion on risk-benefit assessment, information is wanting on the latest state of
legislation and regulations.
Axel Kretschmer
Bayer AG, Wuppertal (FRG)
Summary
The detailed reviews of the four volumes indicate that
the first three conform with the self-set high standards in
both form and content. Conceptionally, these volumes
constitute a logical unit although they can be recommended unreservedly for use as individual reference
works. However, it is considered that the fourth volume is
already in need of revision to update its contributions.
[NB 786 IE]
Angew. Chem. In!. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987)
No. 6
Interaction of Steroid Hormone Receptors with DNA.
Edited by M . Sluyser. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1985. 242 pp., bound, DM 115.00.-ISBN 3-52726221-0
The book is informative and extremely readable. The
opening chapter provides an excellent overview of biochemical and histochemical studies in the steroid receptor
field. It is thorough in both its historical perspective and
its discussion of more recent findings concerning the intrarather than extra-nuclear localization of unfilled receptors.
The different views on receptor transformation are also
well addressed and it is notable that opinions regarding activation not necessarily being associated with a change in
sedimentation coefficient from 4 to 5 s are discussed.
In the second chapter the philosophical question of why
the steroid molecule should have been selected as the
structure to control many diverse functions is raised. The
role of nuclear ploidy and cell cycle on receptor binding is
discussed. The significance of the similarities between receptor binding DNA regions and viral enhancer elements
is also presented in this chapter as is the possibility of
DNA helix destabilization resulting from interactions of
the D ring of the steroid with specific DNA sequences.
The third chapter presents steroid-receptor interactions
as they are viewed by an X-ray crystallographer. For example, the types of modification to the steroid molecule determine receptor binding potential and those modifications
which determine function as an agonist or antagonist are
discussed. It is argued that the conformation of the A-ring
of the steroid determines the specificity of the receptor to
which it binds and that the D-ring regulates its actual degree of activity.
Other chapters address the binding of activated estrogen
receptor to specific DNA sequences and provide detailed
specific discussions of the chick oviduct progesterone receptor and glucocorticoid receptor structure and function.
The chapters on progesterone and glucocorticoid receptors
essentially describe the state of the art (at publication date)
regarding our understanding of steroid receptor structure
and receptor mediated mechanisms. The chick oviduct system is an invaluable model for the study of progesterone
receptor function since the egg white protein genes which
are expressed in response to progesterone have been
cloned and sequenced. The availability of antibodies to
this receptor has also allowed careful studies to be made of
the sub-unit structure of the receptor and its association
with a non-steroid binding protein. This latter aspect is discussed in depth.
Studies with the glucocorticoid receptor are clearly presented and details are given of how, by the use of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies the receptor can be divided into three functional domains. This chapter also provides a lucid summary of the use of the long terminal repeat (LTR) DNA sequences from the mouse mammary tumor virus to study the direct involvement of the receptor,
which binds to these sequences, in determining glucocorticoid responsiveness. A brief description is also given of the
significance of DNAse hypersensitive sites corresponding
to the receptor binding region within the LTR.
Two chapters are devoted to the role of androgen receptors. One stresses the possible role of receptor-RNA binding which may modulate DNA binding, it also discusses
the possible role of divalent cations on androgen-receptor
interactions. The other chapter reviews the significance of
receptor binding to the nuclear matrix and describes receptor binding to specific sequences adjacent to a prostatic
binding protein (PBP) androgen induced gene in the pros59 1
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