This text covers material that could be included in a one-quarter or one-semester course in bioinorganic chemistry for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in chemistry or biochemistry. We (Bertini, Gray, Lippard, and Valentine) believe that such a course should provide students with the background required to follow the research literature in the field. The topics were chosen to represent those areas of bioinorganic chemistry that are mature enough for textbook presentation.
- This chapter deals with metalloenzymes wherein the metal acts mainly as a Lewis acid; i.e., the metal does not change its oxidation state nor, generally, its protein ligands. Changes in the coordination sphere may occur on the side exposed to solvent. The substrate interacts with protein residues inside the active cavity and/or with the metal ion in order to be activated, so that the reaction can occur.
- Metal ions are required for many critical functions in humans. Scarcity of some metal ions can lead to disease. Well-known examples include pernicious anemia resulting from iron deficiency, growth retardation arising from insufficient dietary zinc, and heart disease in infants owing to copper deficiency. The ability to recognize, to understand at the molecular level, and to treat diseases caused by inadequate metal-ion function constitutes an important aspect of medicinal bioinorganic chemistry.