Atomic structure and chemistry of human serum albumin

Nature. 1992 Jul 16;358(6383):209-15. doi: 10.1038/358209a0.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Computer Graphics
  • Disulfides
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Protein Conformation
  • Serum Albumin / chemistry*
  • X-Ray Diffraction / methods


  • Disulfides
  • Ligands
  • Serum Albumin