The Biology Project: Biochemistry

Chemistry Tutorial

Problem 11: Weak interactions to strong interactions

The binding between a specific antibody and a virus is very tight. If the forces that allow interactions between molecules are said to be weak, how can electrostatic attractions, hydrogen bonds, van der Waals bonds and hydrophobic attractions lead to a very strong interaction?

A. The structure of the antibody allows the formation of a large number of weak interactions.
Forming an antibody that has a structure allowing maximum numbers of weak interactions and the resulting tight and specific binding is a fundamental feature of the immune system.

Problem 11 Problem 12

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