Interactions between macromolecules and ions: the Hofmeister series

Yanjie Zhang, Paul S. Cremer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1542 Citations (SciVal)


The Hofmeister series, first noted in 1888, ranks the relative influence of ions on the physical behavior of a wide variety of aqueous processes ranging from colloidal assembly to protein folding. Originally, it was thought that an ion's influence on macromolecular properties was caused at least in part by 'making' or 'breaking' bulk water structure. Recent time-resolved and thermodynamic studies of water molecules in salt solutions, however, demonstrate that bulk water structure is not central to the Hofmeister effect. Instead, models are being developed that depend upon direct ion-macromolecule interactions as well as interactions with water molecules in the first hydration shell of the macromolecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-663
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactions between macromolecules and ions: the Hofmeister series'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this