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A Study of Thermodynamics of Ligand - Receptor Interaction in Chemical Sciences

P K Sastry, V. Shanthi


The formation and separation of definite non-covalent interactions between varieties of macromolecules play a crucial role in the function of biological systems. During the last few years, three main lines of research led to a dramatic improvement of our understanding of these important phenomena. First, combination of genetic engineering and X ray crystallography made available a simultaneous knowledge of the precise structure and affinity of series or related ligand-receptor systems differing by a few well-defined atoms. Second, improvement of computer power and simulation techniques allowed extended exploration of the interaction of realistic macromolecules. Third, simultaneous development of a variety of techniques based on atomic force microscopy, hydrodynamic flow, bio-membrane probes, optical tweezers, magnetic fields or flexible transducers yielded direct experimental information of the behavior of single ligand receptor bonds. At the same time, investigation of well-defined cellular models raised the interest of biologists to the kinetic and mechanical properties of cell membrane receptors. The aim of this review is to give a description of these advances that benefitted from a largely multidisciplinary approach.

Keywords: ligand-receptor interaction, thermodynamic, non-covalent interaction, molecule structure

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