15 Best Structural Biology Books

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Structural biology is the domain of science that focuses on understanding the biological macromolecule’s structures– proteins and nucleic acids. Understanding the effects of structural changes in these macromolecules are significant in studying the functional changes and the disease they cause.

Structural biology forms the foundation for various fields like drug discovery, therapeutic design, medical biology, and biotechnology.

To elucidate our knowledge of Structural Biology, we must choose to read from the best structural biology books.

Best Structural Biology Books Every Biologist Should Read

The capacity to understand macromolecular structures enhances by reading the best structural biology books. The structural and functional changes in biological macromolecules play a significant role in health and science.

In this article, we include the 15 best textbooks for structural biology. These are the Best textbooks of structural biology recommended to every biologist at any stage of learning.

However, out of these 15 structural biology books, I would recommend you to read Biomolecular Crystallography and Introduction to Protein Architecture. Both books have been received positively by the researchers’ community.

1. Biomolecular Crystallography

Biomolecular Crystallography is authored by Bernhard Rupp. The book is categorized into 5 different parts. It consists of a total of 13 chapters. It follows a typical flow of determining molecular crystallographic structure.

The protein crystallization chapter lies ahead of the protein production chapter. It is the right sequence. The need for understanding crystallization should be before the protein production experiments.

The book contains chapters on statistics and probability.  One central chapter includes content on diffraction data collection from instrumentation and mounting. The whole process of structure determination is given in detail.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book is penned in a comprehensible manner
  • Language is easy to understand
  • The diagrams are beautiful, illustrative, colourful, and clear
  • An appendix with lots of useful information
  • Almost 50-page glossary is present
  • An ideal choice for reading for a practicing crystallographer
  • Well organized and constructive chapters
  • Contents in a logical sequence
  • Each chapter has boxes with important concepts, abstracts

Level (suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate

 

2. Introduction to Protein Structure

Introduction to Protein Structure is authored by Carl Branden and John Tooze. The book provides a knowledge base about the principles of protein structure with illustrative examples of proteins in biological contexts.

The full-color protein structures are depicted along with the elaborate text.  The initial chapters include general principles about the conformation of protein for both novice and non-specialists that need a primer.

The letter chapters use examples of proteins with the variety of biological functions they perform. The experimental approach to predicting the protein structure, modification, and the activities they perform are at the end of the book.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • It explains the fundamentals of protein structure in a simple way
  • The diagrams are clear to understand and illustrated pleasantly
  • Immunology chapters are lucrative with the structure diagrams, and the explanation of the mechanism of action
  • In-depth analysis of physical chemistry of protein
  • Easy to read and understand simple language

Level (suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate

 

3. Introduction to Protein Architecture

Introduction to Protein Architecture is written by Arthur M. Lesk in which he presents the fundamental topic of protein structure. It illustrates the characteristic protein structure, functions, and the underlying molecular interactions.

Topics such as amino acid sequence, secondary structure, super-secondary structure, tertiary structure, protein folding patterns, classification, and evolution, change in conformation, etc. have been included.

The primary focus is laid on protein architecture and 3D representation of protein structure.

It includes the topics from the newly emergent field of Bioinformatics. It talks about the scope of the potential application, career, and the general interest of the scientist community across the world.

The chapters include exercises, Weblems (World Wide Web based problems), and problems for students to practice the tools.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Written in a straightforward and engaging style
  • Illustrated with clear and high-resolution computer graphics
  • Detailed information on protein folding patterns
  • Use of stereo images to visualize the complex 3D conformation of the protein
  • It includes application-based topics that would help students of biology, chemistry, medicine, Bioinformatics to adopt and apply it to their research work.
  • For learning protein architecture, must read this

Level (suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate

 

4. Textbook of Structural Biology

Textbook of Structural Biology  is authored by Anders Liljas and five more authors. The book includes chapters related to structural biology. It lays down the fundamental principles of this biological domain impressively. The authors have tried to develop the relationship between macromolecular structures and the functions they exhibit.

Penned down by a group of leading scientists in various fields, hence includes expertise information on essential aspects of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, membranes, and many more.

This book is unique since it completes every aspect of structural biology involving carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, membranes, nucleic acids, and many more.

It includes details on the latest research in different areas related to structural biology.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • It is a compilation of several sciences such as protein chemistry, biophysics, physical biology, and many more.
  • It has more than 400 coloured photographs with technicalities
  • The writing style is simple and understood by both lower and higher grade students.
  • It includes engaging and biologically relevant information on molecular structures along with core biology.

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

5. Structure and Mechanism in Protein Science

Structure and Mechanism in Protein Science have been beautifully presented by Alan Fersht. This book is a guide to understand enzyme catalysis and the methodology of protein folding.

An expert presentation of the core fundamentals of proteomics activity and mechanisms. It defines the core fundamentals of protein structure, their functions, and their mechanism of action applied in research.

It is more of a general outline about the protein world with a specific focus on the methods of catalysis and the relationships between biochemistry and thermodynamics.

The chapter includes a wide range of topics including catalyzes pH dependence, protein engineering, stereochemistry, enzyme kinetics, and many more.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • A diverse book that is essential for understanding the protein biochemistry
  • Easy to understand and up-to-date book on protein structure and functions
  • This includes case studies of enzyme structure and their modes of action
  • The quality of content is high
  • This focuses more on the underlying mechanism of catalysis
  • Relevant for scientists working in applied biology such as biophysics and biochemistry

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

6. Fundamentals of Molecular Structural Biology

Fundamentals of molecular structural biology is authored by Subrata Pal. It is a basic book for structural biology. Besides including the fundamental concepts behind the macromolecular structures, it covers the mathematical and physical aspects of structural biology.

It consists of detailed information on interdisciplinary research career researchers and establishing relationships between different domains of science.

For scientists belonging to the core math and physics background, who hope to contribute to Structural Biology, this would be a starter pack for good reading.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • It includes the physical and mathematical concepts behind the molecular stability of structures
  • A comprehensive book that covers the genetic mechanism of different proteins and nucleic acids
  • Emphasis on the connecting link between structural biology, mathematics, and physics
  • These give insight into the interdisciplinary nature of biology.

Level (suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate

 

7. Computational Structural Biology

Computational structural biology edited by Torsten Schwede and Manuel C Peitsch is a knowledge hub for computational structural biology. It includes a broad overview of computational methods in understanding macromolecular structures.

It includes the methods of protein structure prediction, understanding molecular functions, protein designs, and drug discovery.

The chapters include experimental approaches to decipher structural biology and counter the computational challenges.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • This book is simple to understand with a graceful style
  • A practical handbook for students and researchers
  • The end of each chapter includes a brief discussion on the future outlooks
  • The upcoming challenges are elaborated
  • Basic book to understand the methods of biological structure predictions
  • Undergraduates and Bioinformaticians can depend on this for computational methods of structures predictions

Level (suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate

 

8. Algorithms in Structural Molecular Biology

Algorithms in structural molecular biology by Bruce R Donald is a beautifully presented information about the computational molecular biology. The book is planned into various sections.

The book explains the methods applied to analyze the biological data and synthetic problems of protein engineering. It includes algorithms and computational programming that have helped to solve these problems.

Each chapter has a brief overview of valuable topics in the field of Structural Biology.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The approaches for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), x-ray crystallography, engineering of proteins, and small molecules are mentioned.
  • Overview of useful tool kits that helps in solving computational problems
  • The Special focus on the mathematical background of structural biology
  • The perfect balance between algorithms and understanding the results of experimental data
  • A complete guide for young researchers in the field of computational structural biology.

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

9. Membrane Structural Biology

Membrane structural biology by Mary Luckey it is a book that includes biochemical and biophysical foundations in structural biology. The book mostly deals with the analysis of membrane based on the Physico-chemical properties.

The chapters include information on the biogenesis of membrane lipids and proteins. It provides insight into computational approaches to understand the membrane components.

The words and pictures are clear to understand. It provides the necessary foundation for advanced learning in structural biology.

It also includes the latest structural biology information on lipids, proteins, and molecules present at the level of the Biomembrane.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • With high-resolution pictures with detailed descriptions
  • Provides a relation between membrane research and health domains
  • The intelligently written text provides answers to some basic and applied questions for solid research work
  • Some chapters include the high-resolution structures that helps in understanding the molecular mechanism of their functionalities.

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

10. Structural Biology of the Complement System

Structural biology of the complement system edited by Dimitrios Morikis and John D Lambris is a book about the complement system that has recently gained a piece of scientific attention. The book provides a total overview of the basics and explains the recent development and accomplishments in this emerging field of science.

The book explores all the functional and structural aspects of the complement system to establish a relation between the structure and functions.

The book is both an introductory text and a reference for advanced researchers.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The text is simple, easy to understand, and for every level of learner
  • Especially recommended for students belonging to immunology and structural biology disciplines
  • The book comes along with colorful figures and high-resolution pictures
  • The book is different and provides current information on complement system components.

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

11. Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology

Advances in protein chemistry and structural biology is edited by Rossen Donev. The book includes details about the experimental and computational methods of designing therapeutics that target the protein interactions.

The chapters are intriguing and include modern approaches that determine structure based drug design with protein targets.

The book addresses details about protein-protein interactions and supervised molecular dynamics. It also covers details on protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book is recent and includes advanced techniques to identify inhibitors via Computational methods
  • Analysis of aromatic-aromatic, protein-drug, and protein-protein interactions is penned down in details
  • Topics such as protein-protein interaction, drug design, and its functions
  • A complete package to study the interactions in protein and therapeutics designing

Level (suitable for): Advanced

 

12. Structural Biology: Practical NMR Applications

Structural biology practical -NMR applications is authored by Quincy Teng. The book is composed to understand the NMR developments and the applications of the system in structural biology.

It includes the recent advancements in the process of NMR and the instruments used. The chapters emphasize the future and drawbacks of NMR methods.

It also the detailed mathematical and Quantum mechanics concepts that deal with NMR theories. It includes noteworthy topics that suggest data processing, data acquisition, setting up instruments, and using offline tools.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • It includes the detail, fundamental principles, and concepts of NMR, and Spectroscopy
  • The text is descriptive and elaborative
  • Aur about the technical and practical aspects of performing the NMR
  • A practical manual for bio physician biochemist and researches in structural biology

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

13. Structure and Action of Molecular Chaperones

Structure and action of molecular chaperones written by Lila M Gierasch is a brief overview of cellular proteins known as chaperones.

Each chapter that contributes to protein functioning is demonstrated by the X-ray pictures and electromagnetic structures at the atomic level of resolution. The chaperons of various types and families are discussed in great detail in this book.

Written by a group of experts on protein and genomics, hence the book is reliable with the most thoughtful information.

The chapters are divided into different sections that introduce the chaperon first, followed by their functions and role in Central biology.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • It includes clear high-resolution computational images of chaperon
  • A brief overview of the chapter on functions at one place
  • Easy text and nicely organized chapters
  • For structural molecular biologists, this is a must-read book

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

14. Data Mining in Structural Biology

Data mining in structural biology is an extraordinary book that includes essential information on signal transduction and structural biology. The book incorporates important chapters on crystal handling, data collection techniques, molecular biology, and many more.

This book is a guide to determine the three-dimensional protein structures from the protein data bank.

Data mining is a vital aspect of structural biology, and this book provides everything necessary to understand how to do it in the right way.

Since the amount of data has increased tremendously over the past decade, numerous methods have developed in the field of structural genomics that has helped to develop techniques for high throughput structure determinations that help in determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book is very advanced and talks about computational methods of data mining in Structural Biology.
  • The text is simple to understand
  • It includes illustrative diagrams and pictures
  • This includes various techniques on structure-sequence compatibility
  • Protein structure information is relevant to the field of drug designing and inhibition.

Level (suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

 

15. Architects of Structural Biology

Architects of structural biology by John Meurig Thomas is a gem to read. This book is a collection of biographies, intellectual histories of personalities, memoirs, and devotion of four well-known scientists- Bragg, Perutz, Kendrew, and Hodgkin in the Modern Times.

Out of the four, three are chemists, and one is a physicist. All of them are Nobel Prize winners who have played a significant role in the creation of an applied branch of biology called structural biology.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • For the understanding of the style and approach of great scientists in the development of the structural biology field
  • To draw motivation from the exceptional lives of great intellects
  • Simple and persuasive language
  • A mind opener for those looking for guidance

Level (suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate

It is a brief description of the best structural biology books recommended for being read by undergraduates, graduates, research scholars belonging to the field of biochemistry, biophysics, biotechnology, bioinformatics, computational biology, and core structural biology.

The language of each book is simple, and the flow is intriguing. The high-resolution colourful pictures and explicit texts make it visually appealing. Above all, these books for structural biology include all the relevant and recent topics of research in this field.

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