Biophysical chemistry

Definition

Biophysical chemistry is the study of the physical properties of biological macromolecules at either a chemical sequence level or a more global structural level. Biophysical chemistry is also used to describe techniques suited to understanding the physical properties of biological molecules at a chemical level, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTACs) are synthetic molecules that recruit neo-substrate proteins to a ubiquitin ligase for ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Structural insight into the VHL–MZ1–BRD4 complex reveals how the rationally designed MZ1–PROTAC molecule mediates degradation of an unnatural protein substrate.

    • Michal J Walczak
    • , Georg Petzold
    •  & Nicolas H Thomä
  • News and Views |

    Interfacing photosynthetic proteins and electrodes for investigating light-induced charge separation remains challenging. The discovery of a competing charge transfer pathway through the light-harvesting antenna defines new design requirements for electrode modification.

    • Marc M Nowaczyk
    •  & Nicolas Plumeré
  • News and Views |

    Scientists find that oxidation of methionine induces favorable interactions with aromatic groups in proteins, contrary to conventional wisdom, providing new molecular insight into the structural and biological impact of methionine oxidation.

    • Marcey L Waters
  • News and Views |

    A quantitative understanding of the functional landscape of a biochemical circuit can reveal the design rules required to optimize the circuit. Now, a high-throughput droplet-based microfluidic platform has been developed which enables high-resolution mapping of bifurcation diagrams for two nonlinear DNA networks.

    • Fei Wang
    •  & Chunhai Fan
    Nature Chemistry 8, 738–740
  • News and Views |

    The low-complexity-protein, liquid phases of membraneless organelles have now been established to selectively partition biomolecules. The specialized microenvironment that they provide differs chemically from the surrounding medium and enables specific nucleic-acid remodelling reactions.

    • James Shorter
    Nature Chemistry 8, 528–530
  • News and Views |

    The versatility of RNA is achieved in part through its ability to adopt various shapes of structures. A new technology called X-ray scattering interferometry enables the detection of 'invisible' states by lighting up gold pairs tagged to RNA molecules.

    • Yun-Xing Wang