Signal and binding. II. Converting physico-chemical responses to macromolecule–ligand interactions into thermodynamic binding isotherms

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Physico-chemical titration techniques are the most commonly used methods in characterizing molecular interactions. These methods are mainly based on spectroscopic, calorimetric, hydrodynamic, etc., measurements. However, truly quantitative physico-chemical methods are absolutely based on the determination of the relationship between the measured signal and the total average degree of binding in order to obtain meaningful interaction parameters. The relationship between the observed physico-chemical signal of whatever nature and the degree of binding must be determined and not assumed, based on some ad hoc intuitive relationship/model, leading to determination of the true binding isotherm. The quantitative methods reviewed and discussed here allow an experimenter to rigorously determine the degree of binding and the free ligand concentration, i.e., they lead to the construction of the thermodynamic binding isotherm in a model-independent fashion from physico-chemical titration curves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-40
Number of pages16
JournalBiophysical Chemistry
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017



  • Binding isotherms
  • Physico-chemical titrations
  • Thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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