Biological Applications of Isothermal Titration Calorimetry

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran

2 Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. Center of Excellence in Biothermodynamics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences, JamiaMilliaIslamia (A Central University), Jamia Nagar, NEW DELHI - 110 025, India


     Most of the biological phenomena are influenced by intermolecular recognition and interaction. Thus, understanding the thermodynamics of biomacromolecule ligand interaction is a very interesting area in biochemistry and biotechnology. One of the most powerful techniques to obtain precise information about the energetics of (bio) molecules binding to other biological macromolecules is isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). In a typical ITC experiment, a macromolecule solution is titrated by a solution containing a reactant at a constant temperature, and exchanged heat of the reaction is measured, allowing determination of thermodynamic parameters (enthalpy change, entropy change, change in Gibbs free energy, binding affinity and stoichiometry) of molecular interactions. In this review article, we describe the ITC approach briefly and review some applications of ITC for studying protein-ligand interactions, protein-protein interactions, self-association, and drug design processes. Furthermore, the application of ITC for determination of kinetic parameters of enzyme catalyzed reactions as well as thermodynamic parameters will be discussed.

Graphical Abstract

Biological Applications of Isothermal Titration Calorimetry


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