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Ligand (biochemistry)

In biochemistry and pharmacology, a ligand (from the Latin ligandum, binding) is a substance (usually a small molecule), that forms a complex with a biomolecule to serve a biological purpose. In a narrower sense, it is a signal triggering molecule, binding to a site on a target protein. The binding occurs by intermolecular forces, such as ionic bonds, hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces. The docking (association) is usually reversible (dissociation).

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