Chapter 2. The Supramolecular Chemistry of Life

  1. Jonathan W. Steed B.Sc., Ph.D. Professor Lecturer Associate Editor Recipient1 and
  2. Jerry L. Atwood B.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor Associate Professor Professor2

Published Online: 26 JAN 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470740880.ch2

Supramolecular Chemistry, Second Edition

Supramolecular Chemistry, Second Edition

How to Cite

Steed, J. W. and Atwood, J. L. (2009) The Supramolecular Chemistry of Life, in Supramolecular Chemistry, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470740880.ch2

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Chemistry, Durham University, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 JAN 2009
  2. Published Print: 9 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470512333

Online ISBN: 9780470740880



  • supramolecular chemistry and living biological systems;
  • plant photosynthesis - supramolecular features;
  • macrocyclic (large-ring) ligands in biochemistry;
  • haemoglobin uptake and transport of oxygen;
  • biochemistry and alkali metal cations;
  • neurotransmitters and hormones;
  • semiochemistry - the natural world;
  • biological tetrapyrrole macrocyclic compounds;
  • holoenzyme modular construction;
  • supramolecular chemistry of life


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Biological Inspiration for Supramolecular Chemistry

  • Alkali Metal Cations in Biochemistry

  • Porphyrins and Tetrapyrrole Macrocycles

  • Supramolecular Features of Plant Photosynthesis

  • Uptake and Transport of Oxygen by Haemoglobin

  • Enzymes and Coenzymes

  • Neurotransmitters and Hormones

  • Semiochemistry in the Natural World

  • DNA

  • Biochemical Self-Assembly

  • Summary

  • Study Problems

  • References