Structural, Physical, and Chemical Principles

  • Norma M. AllewellEmail author
  • Linda O. Narhi
  • Ivan Rayment
Part of the Biophysics for the Life Sciences book series (BIOPHYS, volume 6)


This chapter introduces the structural, physical, and chemical foundations of molecular biophysics. The section on structure describes the major molecular components of the cell (water, metabolites, and macromolecules) and discusses the three-dimensional macromolecular structure, folding, and assembly of macromolecules. The section on molecular thermodynamics and kinetics includes energies, equilibria, and rate constants. These concepts are applied to protein folding and aggregation and illustrated with examples relevant to the development of protein pharmaceutics. The chapter closes with a discussion of the interplay between molecular structure and energetics and biological function.


Biomolecular structure Protein folding Macromolecular assembly Thermodynamics Energetics Kinetics Free energy Equilibrium constant Rate constant Protein aggregation Protein pharmaceutics Structure-function relationships 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norma M. Allewell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Linda O. Narhi
    • 2
  • Ivan Rayment
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology and Molecular GeneticsUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Research and Development, Amgen, Inc.Thousand OaksUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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