Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Enzymes: what they are and why they are so important

01.08.2003


Introduction - Enzymology in 2003



Why the 90th anniversary of v = Vmax x [S] / (Km + [S]) is as important as the 50th anniversary of the double-helical structure of DNA. Enzymology is essential, to find out how nucleic acids fulfil their biological functions. Moreover, genome analysis will always, at some stage in the process, have to advance from sequence gazing to enzymology, since the objective of the analysis must be to identify the reactions mediated by the products of each open reading frame. "Enzymology is thus central to nucleic acid and genomic biochemistry," says author Stephen Halford.

Contact: Stephen Halford, Department of Biochemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TD; tel: +44 (0)117-928-7429; e-mail: s.halford@bristol.ac.uk


Ancient enzymology?

How did life start to reproduce? In this article David Lilley looks at the mysteries of the RNA world, the time before DNA. "There is a significant chicken-and-egg problem that bedevils imagining how life could have developed on the planet from some kind of primeval soup," says the author. "All contemporary life uses nucleic acids as the genetic repository and proteins as the chemical workhorse." Taking the remarkable discovery some 20 years ago that RNA could behave like an enzyme he demonstrates how it could have happened, and explains why the connection between ribozymes and ribosomes is far more than typographical.

Contact: David M. J. Lilley, Cancer Research UK Nucleic Acid Structure Research Group, Department of Biochemistry, MSI/WTB Complex, The University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH; tel.: +44 (0)1382-344243; e-mail: d.m.j.lilley@dundee.ac.uk

Directed evolution

One of the ultimate goals of protein engineers has been to acquire the knowledge to design and build proteins for any given function - for example to produce "tailor-made" enzymes for any given reaction. This has usually been done by modifying an existing protein with a similar function. Although this has resulted in some notable successes, more often it has highlighted our relatively poor understanding of the intricacies of enzyme recognition and catalysis. Here, authors Gavin Williams and Alan Berry describe how they developed an alternative: directed evolution.

Contact: Alan Berry, School of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT; tel.: +44 (0)113 343 3158; e-mail: A.Berry@leeds.ac.uk

Integral Membrane Enzymes

The design of ’’real’’ integral membrane enzymes must be difficult, because nature uses enzymes of this type only when it really has to. But difficult is not the same as impossible. Anthony Lee looks at the problems and the solutions.

Contact: Anthony Lee, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO16 7PX; tel.: +44 (0)23 8059 4331; e-mail: agl@soton.ac.uk

Power versus control

More than a third of all enzymes catalyse the oxidation or reduction of a substrate yet the often complex, redox chemistry involved is made possible by surprisingly few cofactors. Stephen Chapman, Simon Daff and Tobias W. B. Ost look at the reasons why.

Contact: Stephen Chapman, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JJ; tel.: +44 (0)131 650 4760; e-mail: S.K.Chapman@ed.ac.uk

Single molecule enzymology

We can now measure enzyme activity at the level of a single enzyme molecule. This is technically impressive, but what can it really tell us? Here, Clive R. Bagshaw reviews the basic principles to show that new forms of heterogeneity in activity may be revealed and evidence gained for rare states that would otherwise be swamped in bulk assays.

Contact: Clive Bagshaw, Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH; tel.: +44 (0)116 252 3454; e-mail: crb5@le.ac.uk

Product focus: Automated image analysis

Paul Ellwood from Syngene looks at how automated image analysis can improve accuracy and increase productivity in drug discovery.

Contact: Paul Ellwood, Beacon House, Nuffield Road, Cambridge, CB4 1TF; tel: +44 (0) 1223-727123; e-mail: paul.ellwood@syngene.com

Mark Burgess | alfa
Further information:
http://www.biochemist.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>