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From The CriticsReviewer: Gene A. Homandberg, PhD (Rush Medical College of Rush University)
Description: This handbook provides short descriptions of more than 40 classes of extracellular matrix proteins and more than 30 classes of cell adhesion and cell-to-cell contact proteins. The biological and structural attributes of about 200 individual proteins are concisely described by investigators who participated in their discovery or characterization. General descriptions, information about purification methods, descriptions of assays of activity and reagents, and descriptions of available antibodies and cDNA reagents are given. Also listed are current questions being posed by investigators as well as a bibliography of key reviews and research articles.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to expand the knowledge base of proteins in the working cell by providing succinct up-to-date information and short bibliographies on particular classes of extracellular matrix proteins and cell adhesion and cell-to-cell contact proteins.
Audience: Although the audience is intended to be student and experienced researchers, this book might be useful in cell biology courses where relationships between protein structure and function could be easily strengthened.
Features: The book contains tables and figures, but, unfortunately, not all of the structures are schematized, and many line drawings are lacking in detail that is available. Nonetheless, the included figures are still useful and give the overall descriptions more substance. Further, the many micrographs add a dimension to the overall descriptions. Because the objective was to include key and review references, the references are not necessarily current. Nonetheless, more than 1699 references are listed, and the lists should be very useful to the reader.
Assessment: The book is meant to be a guidebook and to provide essential facts as a starting point. The book also has a unique format in which 2- to 3-page sections are used to describe each protein. Each section contains short descriptions of the relevant proteins that include a short headline abstract, followed by a general description, and last by descriptions of purification, activities, useful antibodies, gene information and key references. This book is highly recommended for the student researcher or experienced researcher or student who wishes to expand his or her knowledge base. It would make a good addition to any library because its objective is unique and well justified.