Biological Inorganic Chemistry

Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Edition

A New Introduction to Molecular Structure and Function

Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Edition,Robert Crichton,ISBN9780444537829






235 X 191

New revised edition of this bestseller, which teaches the importance of metals in biology, the environment and medicine.

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Key Features

  • Winner of a 2013 Textbook Excellence Awards (Texty) from the Text and Academic Authors Association
  • Readable style, complemented by anecdotes and footnotes
  • Enables the reader to more readily grasp the biological and clinical relevance of the subject
  • Color illustrations enable easy visualization of molecular mechanisms


Biological Inorganic Chemistry: A New Introduction to Molecular Structure and Function, Second Edition, provides a comprehensive discussion of the biochemical aspects of metals in living systems. Beginning with an overview of metals and selected nonmetals in biology, the book then discusses the following concepts: basic coordination chemistry for biologists; structural and molecular biology for chemists; biological ligands for metal ions; intermediary metabolism and bioenergetics; and methods to study metals in biological systems. The book also covers metal assimilation pathways; transport, storage, and homeostasis of metal ions; sodium and potassium channels and pumps; magnesium phosphate metabolism and photoreceptors; calcium and cellular signaling; the catalytic role of several classes of mononuclear zinc enzymes; the biological chemistry of iron; and copper chemistry and biochemistry. In addition, the book discusses nickel and cobalt enzymes; manganese chemistry and biochemistry; molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium, and chromium; non-metals in biology; biomineralization; metals in the brain; metals and neurodegeneration; metals in medicine and metals as drugs; and metals in the environment.


This book provides an ideal introduction for scientists studying the importance of metals in biology, medicine and environmental sciences and for students following courses in inorganic biochemistry, bioinorganic chemistry or inorganic chemistry. It is designed for:
  Researchers: Because it is clearly written and gives a homogeneous view of the subject Chemistry, biology, microbiology, plant science, medical research (preclinical and clinical) environmental research
  Students: Chemists / biologists following courses or taking an advanced topic in Inorganic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, biological inorganic chemistry. chemical biology, medicine and environmental sciences
  Consultants: To have access to important information collected in one volume. Pharmacological industry, foodstuffs and agro-industries, environmental applications

Robert Crichton

Unité de Biochimie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium Prof. Crichton, originally from the UK, is well known in the inorganic biology community and is invited to speak at many international conferences. He has published 3 books in this area (others on biochemistry of iron and metal-based neruodegeneration) and has taught over 750 doctoral and post-doctoral students. The book contains an essential distillation of the knowledge and material he had used to teach and lecture over many years.

Affiliations and Expertise

Unité de Biochimie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Edition

Preface to the 2nd edition 1. An Overview of Metals and Selected Nonmetals in Biology Introduction Why do We Need Anything Other Than C, H, N, and O (together with some P and S)? What are the Essential Elements and the Essential Metal Ions? An Idiosyncratic View of the Periodic Table References 2. Basic Coordination Chemistry for Biologists Introduction Types of Chemical Bonds Ionic Bonding Covalent Bonding Hard and Soft Ligands The Chelate Effect Coordination Geometry Redox Chemistry Crystal Field Theory and Ligand Field Theory References 3. Structural and Molecular Biology for Chemists Introduction The Structural Building Blocks of Proteins Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Quaternary Structure of Proteins The Structural Building Blocks of Nucleic Acids Secondary and Tertiary Structures of Nucleic Acids Carbohydrates Lipids and Biological Membranes A Brief Overview of Molecular Biology Replication Transcription Translation Postscript References 4. Biological Ligands for Metal Ions Introduction Amino Acid Residues Low-Molecular-Weight Inorganic Anions Organic Cofactors Insertion of Metal Ions into Metalloproteins Chelatase - The Terminal Step in Tetrapyrrole Metallation Iron?Sulfur Cluster Formation More Complex Cofactors - MoCo, FeMoCo, P-clusters, H-clusters, and CuZ Siderophores References 5. An Overview of Intermediary Metabolism and Bioenergetics Introduction Redox Reactions in Metabolism The Central Role of ATP in Metabolism The Types of Reaction Catalysed by Enzymes of Intermediary Metabolism An Overview of Catabolism Selected Case Studies - Glycolysis and the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle An Overview of Anabolism Selected Case Studies: Gluconeogenesis and Fatty Acid Biosynthesis Bioenergetics - Generation of Phosphoryl Transfer Potential at the Expense of Proton Gradients References 6. Methods to Study Metals in Biological Systems Introduction Magnetic Properties Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectroscopy Mössbauer Spectroscopy NMR Spectroscopy Electronic and Vibrational Spectroscopies Circular Dichroism and Magnetic Circular Dichroism Resonance Raman Spectroscopy Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) X-Ray Diffraction References 7. Metal Assimilation Pathways Introduction Inorganic Biogeochemistry Metal Assimilation in Bacteria Metal Assimilation in Fungi and Plants Metal Assimilation in Mammals References 8. Transport, Storage, and Homeostasis of Metal Ions Introduction Metal Storage and Homeostasis in Bacteria Metal Transport, Storage, and Homeostasis in Plants and Fungi Metal Transport, Storage, and Homeostasis in Mammals References 9. Sodium and Potassium - Channels and Pumps Introduction - Transport Across Membranes Sodium versus Potassium Potassium Channels Sodium Channels The Sodium?Potassium ATPase Active Transport Driven by Na+ Gradients Sodium/Proton Exchangers Other Roles of Intracellular K+ References 10. Magnesium?Phosphate Metabolism and Photoreceptors Introduction Magnesium-Dependent Enzymes Phosphoryl Group Transfer Kinases Phosphoryl Group Transfer - Phosphatases Stabilisation of Enolate Anions - The Enolase Superfamily Enzymes of Nucleic Acid Metabolism Magnesium and Photoreception References 11. Calcium - Cellular Signalling Introduction - Comparison of Ca2+ and Mg2+ The Discovery of a Role for Ca2þ Other than as a Structural Component An Overview of Ca2+ Regulation and Signalling Calcium Pumps Intracellular Ca2+ Compartments Ca2+ and Cell Signalling References 12. Zinc - Lewis Acid and Gene Regulator Introduction Mononuclear Zinc Enzymes Carbonic Anhydrase Metalloproteinases Alcohol Dehydrogenases Other Mononuclear Zinc Enzymes Multinuclear and Cocatalytic Zinc Enzymes Zinc Fingers DNA- and RNA-Binding Motifs References 13. Iron: Essential for Almost All Life Introduction Iron Chemistry Iron and Oxygen The Biological Importance of Iron Biological Functions of Iron-Containing Proteins Haemoproteins Oxygen Transport Activators of Molecular Oxygen Electron Transport Proteins Iron-Sulfur Proteins Other Iron-Containing Proteins Dinuclear Nonhaem Iron Enzymes References 14. Copper - Coping with Dioxygen Introduction Copper Chemistry and Biochemistry Type 1 Blue Copper Proteins - Electron Transport Copper-Containing Enzymes in Oxygen Activation and Reduction Type 2 Copper Proteins Mars and Venus - The Role of Copper in Iron Metabolism References 15. Nickel and Cobalt: Evolutionary Relics Introduction Nickel Enzymes Methyl-coenzyme M Reductase Cobalamine and Cobalt Proteins B12-dependent Isomerases B12-dependent Methyltransferases Noncorrin Co-containing Enzymes References 16. Manganese - Oxygen Generation and Detoxification Introduction: Mn Chemistry and Biochemistry Photosynthetic Oxidation of Water - Oxygen Evolution Mn2+ and Detoxification of Oxygen Free Radicals Nonredox di-Mn Enzymes - Arginase References 17. Molybdenum, Tungsten, Vanadium, and Chromium Introduction Mo and W Chemistry and Biochemistry Molybdenum Enzyme Families The Xanthine Oxidase Family The Sulfite Oxidases and DMSO Reductases Tungsten Enzymes Nitrogenases Vanadium Chromium References 18. Non-metals in Biology Introduction The Major Biogeochemical Cycles Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Phosphorus The Nitrogen Cycle Sulfur and Selenium Chlorine and Iodine References 19. Biomineralisation Introduction Principles of Solid-State Biological Inorganic Chemistry An Overview of the Major Classes of Biominerals Iron Deposition in Ferritin Formation of Magnetite in Magnetotactic Bacteria Calcium-Based Biominerals - Calcium Carbonates in Ascidians and Molluscs Silica-Based Biominerals References 20. Metals in Brain Introduction The Brain and the Blood?Brain Barrier (BBB) Sodium, Potassium, and Calcium Channels Calcium and Signal Transduction Zinc, Copper, and Iron Copper Iron Concluding Remarks References 21. Metals and Neurodegeneration Introduction Metal-based Neurodegeneration Neurodegenerative Diseases Associated with Metals Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Creutzfeldt?Jakob and Other Prion Diseases Disorders of Copper Metabolism - Wilson’s and Menkes Diseases and Aceruloplasminaemia References 22. Metals in Medicine and Metals as Drugs Introduction Disorders of Metal Metabolism and Homeostasis Metal-based Drugs Cisplatin, an Anticancer Drug Other Metals as Anti cancer Drugs Metallotherapeutics with Lithium Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) References 23. Metals in the Environment Introduction Environmental Pollution and Heavy Metals Aluminium Cadmium Mercury Lead Metals as Poisons References Index

Quotes and reviews

"…a fine scholarly text written in a reader-friendly style to describe the various roles of metals in biological systems, human health, and the environment. It also considers the mechanisms and experimental methods for studying biological processes involving metals…I would highly recommend it to all interested biology, and biochemistry students and researchers."--Science Progress, vol 97, issue 1, 2014
"…a fine scholarly text written in a reader-friendly style to describe the various roles of metals in biological systems, human health, and the environment…The material of the second edition of this book has been updated, and new chapters have been included…I would highly recommend it to all interested biology, and biochemistry students and researchers."--Science Progress, February 18, 2014
"Crichton…offers this detailed and extensively illustrated text on inorganic components of biochemistry. Three introductory chapters explain the basic importance of metals in biology and orient biologists to coordination chemistry and chemists to molecular biology, respectively. General features of metal function are covered, including common ligands, their role in metabolism, assimilation and transport, and methods of study."--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013
"At first blush, inorganic biochemistry might sound like an oxymoron, but that is not the case here…Crichton’s book will be useful resource for students or researchers who want to understand the exciting world of inorganic biochemistry."--CHOICE, October 2012, Vol. 50, No. 02
"Robert Crichton has blended an element-centric approach to the subject with a biological thread that is engaging and helpful in exploring the topics in detail. The text is both accessible and detailed, but pitched at undergraduate level."--Chemistry World

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