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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Juergen Mollenhauer, PhD, DSc (Rush Medical College of Rush University)
Description: This book focuses on the enzyme chemistry of acid and alkaline phosphatases in the intracellular and extracellular environments and relates their chemical properties to the metabolic functions within the signal transduction pathways, lysosomal activities, and the generation of extracellular conditions, as in bone.
Purpose: The book is the first comprehensive overview on that matter. Besides a description of the chemical properties, an attempt is made to explain the properties of the various enzymes in the context of the metabolic needs of cells in different environments.
Audience: The book is written for persons with a significant background knowledge in enzyme chemistry and physical chemistry (spectroscopy), because most of the enzymes' particular chemistry is presented via raw data. Little attempt is made to explain the presented sets of original data to inexperienced readers.
Features: Because of how the data are presented, the book sometimes has the appearance of an original contribution in a typical scientific journal rather than of a review of a research field. However, this gives the technically experienced reader a chance for a personal interpretation of the data. Unfortunately, sometimes the technical quality of the printed graphs suffers: curves appear in part dotted although originally obtained as straight lines, because of insufficient reproduction of computer-generated laboratory data curves; some explanatory figures have a blurred appearance. The index is poor and does not help in searching for particular details.
Assessment: The title is somehow misleading, because the biological functions are not a major aspect. The book is very up-to-date, with literature included until 1995. This, together with the scientific content, is the real strength of the book. It deserves better editing, proofreading, and printing. In a time when most literature on phosphatases is written from the standpoint of molecular and cell biologists, this book offers a favorable contrast.