Our study found that the functions of promiscuous enzymes are still used in growing cells, but the sloppiness of these enzymes is not detrimental to growth. They are much less sensitive to changes in the environment and not as necessary for efficient cell growth, said Nathan Lewis, who earned a Ph.D. in bioengineering at the Jacobs School in March and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.
This study is also a triumph in the emerging field of systems biology, which leverages the power of high-performance computing and an enormous amount of available data from the life sciences to simulate activities such as the rates of reactions that break down nutrients to make energy and new cell parts. This study sheds light on the vast number of promiscuous enzymes in living organisms and shifts the paradigm of research in biochemistry to a holistic level, said Lewis. The insights found in our work also clearly show that fine-grained knowledge can be obtained about individual proteins while using large-scale models. This concept will yield immediate and more distant results.
Our teams findings could also inform other research
|Contact: Catherine Hockmuth|
University of California - San Diego