Concept

Chemical specificity

Summary
Chemical specificity is the ability of binding site of a macromolecule (such as a protein) to bind specific ligands. The fewer ligands a protein can bind, the greater its specificity. Specificity describes the strength of binding between a given protein and ligand. This relationship can be described by a dissociation constant, which characterizes the balance between bound and unbound states for the protein-ligand system. In the context of a single enzyme and a pair of binding molecules, the two ligands can be compared as stronger or weaker ligands (for the enzyme) on the basis of their dissociation constants. (A lower value corresponds to a stronger binding.) Specificity for a set of ligands is unrelated to the ability of an enzyme to catalyze a given reaction, with the ligand as a substrate. If a given enzyme has a high chemical specificity, this means that the set of ligands to which it binds is limited, such that neither binding events nor catalysis can occur at
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