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Enabling the chemistry of life

Nature volume 409, pages 226231 (11 January 2001) | Download Citation

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  • A Corrigendum to this article was published on 14 June 2001

Abstract

Enzymes are the subset of proteins that catalyse the chemistry of life, transforming both macromolecular substrates and small molecules. The precise three-dimensional architecture of enzymes permits almost unerring selectivity in physical and chemical steps to impose remarkable rate accelerations and specificity in product-determining reactions. Many enzymes are members of families that carry out related chemical transformations and offer opportunities for directed in vitro evolution, to tailor catalytic properties to particular functions.

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Acknowledgements

Work cited from the author's laboratory has been supported by the National Institutes of Health. I thank B. Hubbard for drawing the artwork in figures 1 –7.

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Affiliations

  1. Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Department, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA

    • Christopher Walsh

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/35051697

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