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From The CriticsReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD(Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This book presents information on protein structure.
Purpose: This up-to-date book is intended for advanced undergraduates or beginning graduate students.
Audience: Besides serving as a textbook for students, this book also can be used as a reference source for investigators wishing to access current thinking and databases used in the study of protein structure.
Features: The book begins with an introduction based on the crystal structure of the bacterial photosynthetic reaction center. This formidable complex serves to illuminate many key aspects of protein organization and to impress the reader with the sophistication not only of the structure itself but of the methods used to define it. A general discussion of protein conformation is next, followed by sections highlighting the various motifs present in proteins. Concluding chapters highlight specific proteins such as immunoglobulins and T-cell receptors and mechanisms of conformational change. Each chapter is accompanied by a short bibliography and a problem set, some of which require use of the Internet. An appendix has a set of figures of protein structures. The extensive illustrations are almost all based on computer representations and are presented as stereo views. The success of the text depends to a significant extent on the ability of the reader to access these views — a stereo viewer is strongly recommended.
Assessment: This is an excellent introduction to protein structure and will serve students well. Particularly valuable is the use of databases and the web. A shortcoming is the failure of the author to address issues of post-translational modifications such as glycosylation, lipidation, or phosphorylation. This is regrettable since it is estimated that 50 percent or more of eukaryotic proteins are so modified and in many cases these alterations are critical structural determinants.