Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics (Series). Chemical Recognition in Biology.

Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics (Series). Chemical Recognition in Biology.

Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, 9 (1982)125- 126 A section of J. Electroanal. Chem., and constituting Vol. 141 (1982) Elsevier Sequoia S.A., La...

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Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, 9 (1982)125- 126 A section of J. Electroanal. Chem., and constituting Vol. 141 (1982) Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne-Printed in The Netherlands


Book reviews Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics (Series). A Kleinzeller, G.F. Springer H.G. Wittmann (Editors). Vol. 32: Chemical Recognition in Biology. F. Chapeville A.-L. Haenni (Editors). Springer Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, 1980, ix+430 210 figs., 39 tables, cloth DM98.00, $57.90. ISBN 3-540-10205-l.

and and pp.,

These contributions on recognition in biology were presented at a symposium at Grignon (France 1979) to celebrate F. Lipmann’s 80th anniversary and they cover the following topics: A Recognition of ligands-enzymic catalysis; B Enzyme regulation; C Nucleic acid-protein interactions: mutagenesis; D Protein biosynthesis; E Philosophical reflections. The basis of fields A-D are the auxiliary valences playing a dominant role for all processes in living beings. In topic A, W. Jencks presents a didactic explanation of enzyme-substrate basic binding properties, whereas M. Williams and J. Fox give a brief description of coupled oscillator theory of enzyme action. Further subjects are cytochromes (M. Kamen) and haem proteins (M. Perutz). Under topic B, the “Dynamic compartmentation”, by B. Hess, A. Boiteux and E. Chance opens up a new viewpoint of dynamic heterogeneity in oscillating glycolysis, even in cell-free extracts. M. Jones discusses the mechanism of “channeling” of intermediates in biosynthesis, e.g. for UMP, by multi-enzymic proteins (six enzyme activities!). The Lipman template model (1956) for sequential polymerization of amino acids is proved for grarnicidin-S-synthetase by H. Kleinkauf and H. Koischwitz. H. Boman extends his discovery (1974) on immunity of insects after injection of a non-pathogenic bacterium and he also recognized a connection between immunity and pathogenicity with phylogenetic aspects. Topic C deals with binding proteins to DNA, especially gene 5 protein and its interaction region (McPherson, A. Wang, F. Jurnak, I. Molineux, A. Rich), and the RNases T, and U,, which were modified chemically, and t-RNAs and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (D. Knorre, V. Vlassow). Evidence for DNA as a target for the antibiotic neocarcinostatin is shown by J. Goldberg, T. Hatayama, L. Kappen and M. Napier. Topic D contains contributions to the structure, evolution and energetics of ribosomes by H. Wittmann, W. Wintermeyer, J. Robertson and H. Zachau. H. Grossjean and H. Chantrenne analyse the kinetics of codon-anti-codon interactions and Y. Kaziro points out a molecular mechanism of protein biosynthesis. The philosophy of topic E presents mainly possible rules in culture and societybased perceptions in molecular biology (R. Monro), and furthermore personal


recollections on Fritz Lipmann (G. Novelli). This collection contains a vast amount of biochemical results and hypothetical conceptions rather than biophysical models. A compilation of the kinds of recognition and forces acting is an omission here. H. BERG Jena

Cold Spring Harbor Symposia

on Quantitative

Parts I and II. Cold Spring Harbor,

Biology. Vol. 45: Movable

Genetic Elements,

198 1, xx + xii + 1025 pp.

The two volumes cover the following chapters: (1) Inversion Elements in Bacteria, (2) Transposable Elements in Bacteria: (a) General Properties, (b) Structure and Function, (c) Factors Affecting Transpiration, (d) Mechanism of Transpiration, (e) Mechanism of Mu Transpiration, (f) Biochemistry of Recombination; (3) Genetic Instability in Plant Systems; (4) Transposable Elements in Drosophila and Yeast; (5) Dispersed Movable Sequences; (6) Retroviruses as Insertion Elements; (7) Organization of Genes; (8) Rearrangements in Anti-body Genes; (9) Antigenic Variation in Trypanosomes and Mating-type Switch in Yeast; (10) Summary, Subject Index. More than 150 papers contain such an extraordinary amount of facts and phenomenological results (mostly from American authors) that M. Yarmolinsky in his summary asked: “Can we see some unity in all this diversity?” He, C. Sapienca and F. Doolittle (“Genes are things you have whether you want them or not”) try to give two kinds of synopsis on this fast expanding field with the main research aim to change nature in favour of higher human profit and well-being. One basic idea is that nucleic acids can evolve in the “environments of organism”, either as DNA sequences, whose expressions significantly affect organismal phenotype, or as additional sequences for non-phenotypic selection to ensure their own perpetuation (selfish DNA). On the other hand, the genetic variability increases by the ubiquity transposable elements, which are responsible for the “recombinational switching” process in evolutionary adaptabilities. Such movable elements reported in both volumes complicate the simple recent picture of DNA function to a bewildering degree and the end is not in sight. In contrast to this diversity are reports of sequence homologies that show the unity of origin and common mechanisms in general. This proceedings are an excellent source of information for geneticists and biochemists. H. BERG Jena