Volume 90 Issue 47 | p. 38 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 19, 2012

To Tell Substrates Apart, Enzyme Switches Reactions

Strategy distinguishes a one-atom difference
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: biocatalysis, enzyme, kinetics, biochemistry

To distinguish two substrates that differ by just one atom, a bacterial enzyme takes an unusual tack, chemists report (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1212591109). The enzyme, a thioesterase, subjects the two compounds to different reaction pathways, in contrast to the typical strategy of relying on subtle differences in binding. The work could hold broader lessons for biocatalysis. In the course of forging carbon-fluorine bonds, the microbe . . .

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