Nav: Home

New technology for enzyme design

June 01, 2018

Enzymes are tools of nature that accelerate almost all biochemical reactions in living cells as biological catalysts. For this reason, enzymes have been used in the chemical industry for some time now - in detergents and cleaners, toothpastes and shampoos, but also in foods. Enzymes help in the production of paper, textiles, leather, medicines, biofuels and other products.

Enzymes from the tailoring industry

Biochemically, enzymes are proteins that are composed of natural amino acids. They form a three-dimensional structure. Just like a key fits into a lock, each specific molecule fits into an enzyme and the enzyme converts it into a new product.

Technically, it is possible to exchange individual amino acids in an enzyme and thereby change its structure so that it can now process other molecules. In this way, British scientists have created just recently a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic.

Surface of the levansucrase changed

Chemists from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany, have now gone a step further in the tailoring of enzymes: "We thought what fascinating possibilities would arise if we could change the surface of enzymes chemically and use the chemical space of molecules," says Jürgen Seibel , Professor of Organic Chemistry at the JMU. "We have developed a reaction that does not occur in nature in this way. It gives us a lot of freedom in reshaping enzyme surfaces. "

As the JMU scientists report in the journal Chemical Science, they first redesigned the surface of the enzyme levansucrase. Now, the enzyme can convert the table sugar (sucrose) directly into a polymer of fructose building blocks.

"So far, such a synthesis has been possible with levansucrase, but it works much more efficiently with the modified enzyme," explains Seibel. The conversion of the enzyme per second is now significantly higher; moreover, it mainly produces the desired product and no accidental by-products.

Interesting for medicine and food industry

The fructose polymer could be used as a bio-gel for tissue transplantation in medicine or in the food industry - for example as a probiotic supplement in yogurts or baby food. Because like other functional sugars, the polymer could also serve certain intestinal bacteria as food and indirectly exert a health-promoting influence on the intestinal flora of humans.
-end-


University of Würzburg

Related Enzymes Articles:

Cold-adapted enzymes can transform at room temperature
Enzymes from cold-loving organisms that live at low temperatures, close to the freezing point of water, display highly distinctive properties.
How enzymes build sugar trees
Researchers have used cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate for the first time the structure and function of a very small enzyme embedded in cell membranes.
Energized by enzymes -- nature's catalysts
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are using a custom virtual reality app to design an artificial enzyme that converts carbon dioxide to formate, a kind of fuel.
Mathematical model reveals behavior of cellular enzymes
Mathematical modeling helps researchers to understand how enzymes in the body work to ensure normal functioning.
While promoting diseases like cancer, these enzymes also cannibalize each other
In diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, and sickle cell anemia, cathepsins promote their propagation.
Researchers finally grasp the work week of enzymes
Scientists have found a novel way of monitoring individual enzymes as they chomp through fat.
New study looks to biological enzymes as source of hydrogen fuel
Research from the University of Illinois and the University of California, Davis has chemists one step closer to recreating nature's most efficient machinery for generating hydrogen gas.
How oxygen destroys the core of important enzymes
Certain enzymes, such as hydrogen-producing hydrogenases, are unstable in the presence of oxygen.
How nature builds hydrogen-producing enzymes
A team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of Oxford has discovered how hydrogen-producing enzymes, called hydrogenases, are activated during their biosynthesis.
New family on the block: A novel group of glycosidic enzymes
A group of researchers from Japan has recently discovered a novel enzyme from a soil fungus.
More Enzymes News and Enzymes Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Nina
Producer Tracie Hunte stumbled into a duet between Nina Simone and the sounds of protest outside her apartment. Then she discovered a performance by Nina on April 7, 1968 - three days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tracie talks about what Nina's music, born during another time when our country was facing questions that seemed to have no answer, meant then and why it still resonates today.  Listen to Nina's brother, Samuel Waymon, talk about that April 7th concert here.