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Duke software dramatically speeds enzyme design
Date:2/16/2009

each protein was even trickier."

Georgiev and Chen were both first authors of the PNAS report, and the University of Connecticut's Anderson was another co-author. The K* algorithm software is available as open source code for other researchers to evaluate and use.

"While gramicidin S is probably not a really useful antibiotic against emerging infectious diseases, it's a great model system for studying how such enzymes work, because we know a lot about its 3-D shape," Donald said. "It should, in principle, be possible to redesign any enzyme." That might include revamping the machinery that makes other workhorse enzymes in gramicidin's family, such as penicillin and vancomycin.

Vancomycin is considered an antibiotic of last resort for patients infected by methicillin-resistant germs. And Donald's group has now begun to study the proteins involved in its synthesis inside the bacterium Amycolatopsis orientalis. "We believe K* can be used to redesign them too," he said.


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Contact: Monte Basgall
monte.basgall@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

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