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Biophysical Techniques in Structural Biology.

08:00 EDT 15th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Biophysical Techniques in Structural Biology."

Over the past six decades, steadily increasing progress in the application of the principles and techniques of the physical sciences to the study of biological systems has led to remarkable insights into the molecular basis of life itself. Of particular significance has been the way in which the determination of the structures and dynamical properties of proteins and nucleic acids has so often led directly to a profound understanding of the nature and mechanism of their functional roles. The increasing number and power of experimental and theoretical techniques that can be applied successfully to living systems is now ushering in a new era of structural biology that is leading to fundamentally new information about the maintenance of health, the origins of disease, and the development of effective strategies for therapeutic intervention. This article provides a brief overview of some of the most powerful biophysical methods in use today, along with references that provide more detailed information about recent applications of each of them. In addition, this article acts as an introduction to four authoritative reviews. The first shows the ways that a multiplicity of biophysical methods can be combined with computational techniques to define the architectures of complex biological systems, such as those involving weak interactions within ensembles of molecular components. The second illustrates one aspect of this general approach by describing how recent advances in mass spectrometry, particularly in combination with other techniques, can generate fundamentally new insights into the properties of membrane proteins and their functional interactions with lipid molecules. The third review demonstrates the increasing power of rapidly evolving diffraction techniques, employing the very short bursts of X-rays of extremely high intensity that are now accessible as a result of the construction of free-electron lasers, in particular to carry out time-resolved studies of biochemical reactions. The fourth describes in detail the application of such approaches to probe the mechanism of the light-induced changes associated with bacteriorhodopsin's ability to convert light energy into chemical energy. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 88 is June 20, 2019. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

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Name: Annual review of biochemistry
ISSN: 1545-4509
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