Structure and Function of Haemocyanin

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Haemocyanin was first recognised as a respiratory pigment by P. Bert in 1867. Over the years the haemocyanins have attracted attention as macromolecules and copper-contain- ing respiratory proteins. The early functional studies of A.C. Redfield (Biol. Rev. 9, 176, 1934) and the ultracen- trifuge work of I.B. Ericksson-Quensel and T. Svedberg (Biol. Bull. 21, 498, 1936) come easily to mind. In recent years haemocyanin studies have come to the forefront with the work of the Ghirettis (Padova), R. Lontie (Louven), E.F.J. Van Bruggen (Groningen) and Joe and Celia Bonaven- tura (Beaufort) to mention but a few of the number of able investigators coming to this field from diverse disciplines. It is hoped that this book presents a fair cross section of current workers and work on haemocyanin. It is the sec- ond collection of haemocyanin studies to be published after a Workshop on the Structure and Function of Haemocyanin. The first haemocyanin meeting was held by Professors F. Ghiro Ghiretti and Anna Ghiretti-Magaldi in Naples in 1966. Subsequent meetings have been held at Groningen (1970), Louven (1971) and Padova (1974). Current interest in haemocyanin can be judged by the scope and breadth of the papers from the Malta meeting and pre- sented here. In organising the Malta meeting I would like to thank Dr. John Tooze of the European Molecular Biology Organisation and my friend and colleague, Professor Mauri- zio Brunori for their continuous help and support.