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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This update on the general area of bioenergetics has a focus on the components and organization of the electron transport system, but relevant aspects of photo-coupled processes are also discussed. The previous edition was published in 1992.
Purpose: The goal of this book is to provide a contemporary overview of bioenergetics with an emphasis on those processes generating ATP. These are worthwhile objectives and are well met by this edition.
Audience: The audience includes graduate students and fellows working in the area as well as other scientists wishing an update. There is a sufficiency of both basic and detailed material to satisfy a broad readership. The authors work actively in this area and are well qualified.
Features: The introductory chapter reviews the concept of the chemiosmotic theory and includes a brief description of the structure of membrane systems involved in energy transduction. A short section on ion transport is followed by a quantitative discussion of the energetics of such systems and the proton motive mechanism for gradient generation. A large central chapter details the properties of the respiratory chains with a focus on that of higher animals. The ATP synthase is reviewed and the book concludes with an overview of the role of mitochondria in nonrespiratory processes such as apoptosis. Each section includes sufficient detail to allow a sound grasp of the subject. References are adequate although their inclusion only as an appendix lacks convenience. Scientists wishing to refresh their knowledge in this field will find this book of value. It is also to be recommended to those many instructors who lecture on oxidative metabolism but are accustomed to the rather superficial treatment found in most books.
Assessment: Individual aspects of the material in this book may be found in specific review books but this offering has the virtue of integrating the topic well. The time interval between the current edition and the previous one (10 years) has been marked by several major advances, including X-ray structures and a detailed mechanistic analysis of the ATP synthase. Hence, the book is timely as well.