Thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of Molecular Recognition Processes

The understanding of molecular recognition processes requires a thorough examination from different perspectives including thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of the binding interaction and structural aspects of the interactants and the complex.

The determination of the binding affinity of two (or more) interactants (i.e. a protein/ligand system), through a steady state analysis provides information on how strong is the complex formed, and it is typically expressed in terms of equilibrium binding constants (association, KA , or dissociation, KD constants). The kinetic analysis of the interaction offers information on how fast the complex is formed and how fast it dissociates, expressed in terms of association and dissociation rate constants, respectively (kon and koff).