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Next: e. Studies of enzyme mechanism utilizing Up: 7. Small Structures in Biology Previous: c. Studies of flexible molecules to

d. Studies of molecular packing and hydrogen bonding

In addition to the information obtained on conformation when a crystal structure is determined, there is extensive information on intermolecular packing. This information can be used to advantage particularly if the molecule crystallizes with solvent or if several different crystalline forms are studied. For example, a study of biotin and various different crystalline derivatives and analogs was made. Biotin acts as an intermediate carrier of carbon dioxide during the action of certain carboxylating enzymes. It was found that the carbonyl oxygen atom and one ring nitrogen atom formed hydrogen bonds in a fairly constant manner. It was suggested that this observed hydrogen bonding scheme represents that manner by which biotin recognizes bicarbonate.


Stallings, W. C., Arch. Biochem. Biophys . 183 (1977) 1819.

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