Fulvio Saccoccia and Andrea Bellelli* Pages 1 - 18 ( 18 )
Ligand-linked changes in the aggregation state of biological macromolecules occur and have importance in several physiological processes, e.g., the response of hormone receptors, cooperative ligand binding, and others. The mathematical formalisms that express the thermodynamics governing these processes are complex, as they are required to describe observations made under experimental conditions in which many parameters may be simultaneously varied. The description of the functional behaviour of proteins that present ligand-linked association-dissociation events must accommodate cases where both the binding stoichiometries and reaction mechanisms are variable. In this paper, we review some paradigmatic cases that cover different structural arrangements and binding modes, with special attention to the case of dissociating homodimeric transport proteins and receptors. Even though we cannot pretend to be comprehensive on the proteins presenting this behaviour, we believe that we can attempt to be comprehensive on the structural arrangements and thermodynamic properties of these systems, which fall into a limited set of possible types.
Ligand-linked, association-dissociation, linkage, receptors, hormones, transporter, hemoglobin, cooperativity.
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBBC), National Research Council (CNR), Campus A. Buzzati-Traverso, via E. Ramarini 32, 00015 Monterotondo (Rome), Department of Biochemical Sciences “A. Rossi Fanelli”, Sapienza University of Rome