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Nature. 1992 Jul 16;358(6383):209-15.

Atomic structure and chemistry of human serum albumin.

Author information

  • 1Space Science Laboratory, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama 35812.

Erratum in

  • Nature 1993 Jul 22;364(6435):362.


The three-dimensional structure of human serum albumin has been determined crystallographically to a resolution of 2.8 A. It comprises three homologous domains that assemble to form a heart-shaped molecule. Each domain is a product of two subdomains that possess common structural motifs. The principal regions of ligand binding to human serum albumin are located in hydrophobic cavities in subdomains IIA and IIIA, which exhibit similar chemistry. The structure explains numerous physical phenomena and should provide insight into future pharmacokinetic and genetically engineered therapeutic applications of serum albumin.

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