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Chemical class

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Chemical class

Chemical classification systems attempt to classify as elements or compounds according to certain chemical functional or structural properties. Whereas the structural properties are largely intrinsic, functional properties and the derived classifications depend to a certain degree on the type of chemical interaction partners on which the function is exerted. Sometimes other criteria like purely physical ones (e.g. molecular weight) or - on the other hand - functional properties above the chemical level are also used for building chemical taxonomies.

Some systems mix the various levels, resulting in hierarchies where the domains are slightly confused, for example having structural and functional aspects end up on the same level. Whereas chemical function is closely dependent on chemical structure, the situation becomes more involved when e.g. pharmacological function is integrated, because the QSAR can usually not be directly computed from structural qualities.

Physico-chemical classification

Structural classification

Usually binary classifications and combinations thereof:

Functional classification

Chemical function

Pharmacological/biological function

Mostly appropriate only for large biological molecules (as at least one interacting partner), in particular enzymes, depends on chemical functions of their constituent amino acids.

See also: biological activity

Mixed systems

See also

External links

  • http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/ Chemical Entities of Biological Interest
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