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Keywords:

  • isothermal titration calorimetry;
  • differential scanning calorimetry

Abstract

The principles of isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) are reviewed together with the basic thermodynamic formalism on which the two techniques are based. Although ITC is particularly suitable to follow the energetics of an association reaction between biomolecules, the combination of ITC and DSC provides a more comprehensive description of the thermodynamics of an associating system. The reason is that the parameters ΔG, ΔH, ΔS, and ΔCp obtained from ITC are global properties of the system under study. They may be composed to varying degrees of contributions from the binding reaction proper, from conformational changes of the component molecules during association, and from changes in molecule/solvent interactions and in the state of protonation. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.