The procedure is similar to a search engine type search, although the input of data is a bit more complicated. All starts with the question for the required enzyme function. "We focus on the active site of the enzyme and write a program which specifies the positions and distances of the most important amino acids as well as important structural features in the vicinity of the active site", explains acib researcher
On the basis of this script the "Catalophor System" browses 100.000+ database entries for similarities. The result is a weighted list of possible candidates. In the next step the most promising candidates are manufactured and tested in the lab. The preliminary work on the computer saves countless experiments and screenings for new enzyme functionality.
The database itself is constantly being expanded. "Every week about 150 new structures are added," says
The "Catalophor System" has a high practical benefit for science and industry. "Based on the protein structures we can discover new possible reaction pathways of enzymes that have not been described yet. For the chemical industry our approach opens up new reaction pathways that were not possible until now," says Prof.
The method was already applied for a patent and just published in
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