Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlations

Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlations
Thomas M Devlin
New York: Wiley 2002 | Pp ix + 434 | ?24.99 | ISBN 0471411361
Reviewed by Tim Bugg

This comprehensive biochemistry book has been written by 28 academics, drawn mainly from US schools of medicine, and skilfully combined into a very readable text by Thomas Devlin. Given that there are several excellent and all encompassing textbooks on biochemistry already (for example those by Stryer, or Lehninger), what is special about this one? The answer is that it is focussed especially on clinical biochemistry. It contains detailed descriptions of clinical conditions associated with disorders in cellular biochemistry, and special chapters dealing with the molecular cell biology of several human organs.

Section I, Structure of macromolecules (DNA, RNA and proteins), is very well illustrated and contains a high level of chemical and molecular detail. Section II, Transmission of information, describes DNA replication, DNA repair, RNA transcription and protein translation, with a detailed description of ribosome function. This section also includes a very useful section on recombinant DNA technology. Section III, Functions of proteins, describes immunoglobulins, serine proteases, DNA binding proteins, and hemoglobin; followed by a description of enzyme kinetics and catalysis, a chapter on cytochrome P450 enzymes, and a very readable chapter on membranes and membrane proteins. Section IV, Metabolic pathways, describes the major metabolic pathways, aspects of bioenergetics and integration of metabolism. This section illustrates very nicely the many clinically relevant metabolic disorders and has a final section on metabolism in various disease states. Section V, Physiological processes, describes biochemical aspects of human biology, including hormone action, the nervous system, the eye, muscle action, blood coagulation, digestion and nutrition.

The book is illustrated in full colour throughout, and contains selected literature references and questions and answers at the end of each chapter. The book is ideal for medicine or clinical biochemistry undergraduate students, and also has much to offer to medicinal chemistry students as a reference textbook.