Enzymes

Enzymes catalyze nearly all of the chemical reactions that occur in biological systems. Enzymes are generally proteins but also include catalytic DNA and catalytic RNA. As effective biological catalysts, enzymes work by lowering a reaction’s activation energy barrier, thereby increasing the rate of the reaction. They also improve the specificity of the reactions.

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  • News and Views |

    Holliday junction resolvases lock dynamic DNA four-way junctions into specific structural conformations for symmetric DNA cleavage. Single-molecule studies now reveal that resolvases can relax their grip, enabling Holliday junction conformer transitions and branch migration in the enzyme-bound form.

    • Ulrich Rass
  • News and Views |

    Two protein circuit systems, split-protease-cleavable orthogonal coiled-coil logic (SPOC logic) and circuits of hacked orthogonal modular proteases (CHOMP), have been developed to permit rapid and logic function-based control of mammalian cellular signaling.

    • Yiqian Wu
    •  & Yingxiao Wang
  • News and Views |

    The carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is post-translationally modified during gene expression. A recent study has identified a CTD kinase, Hrr25, that regulates the termination of noncoding RNA genes by recruiting Rtt103, a key termination factor.

    • Carlos Mario Genes Robles
    •  & Frédéric Coin