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Birth of an enzyme
Date:3/24/2008

lace in the absence of an enzyme.

The scientists found that the mutations occurring in the area surrounding the enzymes active site caused minor structural changes, which in turn, resulted in an increased chemical reaction rate. These mutations therefore seem to correct shortcomings in the computational design, by shedding light on what might be lacking in the original designs. Other mutations increased the flexibility of the enzymes, which helped to increase the speed of substrate release from the active site.

'Reproducing the breathtaking performances of natural enzymes is a daunting task, but the combination of computational design and molecular in vitro evolution opens up new horizons in the creation of synthetic enzymes,' says Tawfik. 'Thanks to this research, we have gained a better understanding of the structure of enzymes as well as their mode of action. This, in turn, will allow us to design and create enzymes that nature itself had not thought of, which could be used in various processes, such as neutralizing poisons, developing medicines, as well as for many further potential applications.'


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Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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