Ongoing studies of the hydrogen bond (HB), in which a hydrogen (H) atom acts as a bridge between a pair of chemical groups, continues to offer new ideas about this interaction that have applications to biochemical processes. The ability of a proton to transfer within a HB can be controlled by conformational changes that cause small alterations to the HB geometry. The CH group, widely prevalent in biological systems, participates in HBs and contributes to the structure and stability of commonly occurring protein secondary structures such as the β-sheet. The concept of the HB has been extended to systems where the bridging proton is replaced by any of a large variety of electronegative atoms, in the form of halogen, chalcogen, pnicogen and tetrel bonds, with no loss of strength.

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