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Q Rev Biophys. 1997 Aug;30(3):241-77.

The Hofmeister series: salt and solvent effects on interfacial phenomena.

Author information

1
Centre for the Study of Germinal Cells, CNR, Siena, Italy.

Abstract

Advances in experimental and computational methodologies have led to a recent renewed interest in the Hofmeister series and its molecular origins. New results are surveyed and assessed. Insights into the underlying mechanisms have been gained, although deeper molecular understanding still seems to be elusive. The principal reason appears to be that the Hofmeister series emerges from a combination of a general effect of cosolutes (salts, etc.) on solvent structure, and of specific interactions between the cosolutes and the solute (protein or other biopolymer). Hence every system needs to be studied individually in detail, a state of affairs which is likely to continue for some time. A deeper understanding of the Hofmeister series can be an extraordinarily valuable guide to designing experiments, including not only those probing the series per se, but also those designed to elucidate the adsorption, aggregation and stabilization phenomena which underlie so many biological events. The aim of this review is to provide an up-to-date framework to guide such understanding, consolidating recent advances in the many fields on which the Hofmeister series impinges.

PMID:
9394422
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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