ENP Newswire -
Release date- 17102013 - What makes enzymes such fantastic catalysts? New research from the University of
Using a combination of experimental approaches and multiscale computational methods, including the hybrid QM/MM (quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics) approach for which Karplus, Warshel and Levitt won this year's Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the team of researchers from
Understanding exactly how enzymes increase reaction rates - typically much more effectively and under more environmentally friendly conditions than artificial catalysts - is an important goal in biotechnology. Therefore, a thorough understanding of how enzymes achieve their phenomenal rate enhancements is of great importance to fields like biocatalysis, bioenergy, drug design and the emerging field of synthetic biology.
Despite the development of several theories to explain the enormous catalytic power of enzymes, even after a century of study it is not fully understood. Some recent theories have proposed that internal 'promoting motions' of the enzyme - specific motions that act to reduce the height or width of the energy barrier to the reaction - are used to drive the chemistry. This remains a topic of considerable debate, particularly since the identification and analysis of dynamical effects in enzyme-catalysed reactions has proved very challenging.
The team, which included Dr
Professor Mulholland said: 'Our work shows that enzyme motions are involved in the reaction through a passive rather than an active mechanism, and ultimately indicates that enzymes are not fundamentally different from man-made catalysts, they are just much better.
'This is an important thing to establish as knowing how enzymes work has far-reaching implications, for example in biotechnology and synthetic biology, and should help in the design of effective 'green' catalysts in the future.'
The work is published in Proceedings of the
[Editorial queries for this story should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org]
((Comments on this story may be sent to email@example.com))
Most Popular Stories
- 15 Myths That Could Ruin Your Hispanic Ad Campaign
- Bitcoin Clones Lurch Onto Financial Scene
- General Motors Names Mary Barra as First Female CEO
- AIG to Create 230 Jobs in Charlotte
- Clinton to Keynote Annual Simmons Leadership Conference
- How Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Work
- Californians Want to Legalize Marijuana
- Pacific Trade Pact Delay Hinders U.S. Pivot to Asia
- Russia Says Nyet to Canada North Pole Claim
- Budget Deal Sets Off Grumbles in Both Houses