Volume 84 Issue 35 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: August 28, 2006

Single mutation transforms enzyme's function

Department: Science & Technology

By making a single amino acid change in an enzyme, researchers have completely changed the class of reaction catalyzed by that enzyme. Guided by the predicted mechanism of action of arylmalonate decarboxylase, Hiromichi Ohta and coworkers at Keio University, Yokohama, Japan, find that mutation of one residue in the enzyme converts its catalytic activity from enantioselective decarboxylation of α-aryl-α-methylmalonates to racemization of α-arylpropionates (Chem. Commun. 2006, 3600). This is not the first time an . . .

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