Cooperativity and biological complexity

Nat Chem Biol. 2008 Aug;4(8):435-9. doi: 10.1038/nchembio0808-435.


Cooperative binding effects pervade biology. Only a few basic principles are at play, but in different biological contexts cooperativity appears in distinct guises to achieve different ends. Here I discuss some of the manifestations of cooperativity that are most important in biology and drug discovery as they pertain to systems at different levels of complexity and also highlight aspects of this broadly important phenomenon that remain poorly understood.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation*
  • Drug Design
  • Ligands
  • Multiprotein Complexes / physiology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteins / physiology*


  • Ligands
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Proteins