Volume 87 Issue 17 | pp. 34-36
Issue Date: April 27, 2009

Enzymes' Many Movements

Controversy exists over whether motions at various timescales contribute to catalytic efficiency
Department: Science & Technology, ACS News

ENZYMES ARE biology's catalysts, making it possible for chemical reactions to happen on biologically relevant timescales, not to mention at nonlethal temperatures and pressures. Random thermal fluctuations mean that enzymes are always in motion and have not one but many possible conformations that differ ever so slightly. But the question of whether these motions play a role in enzyme function has intrigued experimentalists and theorists for many years—especially in the past decade.

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Chemical & Engineering News
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