Department of Chemistry
Enzymes are versatile and efficient biological catalysts that drive numerous cellular processes, motivating the development of enzyme design approaches to tailor catalysts for diverse applications. In this perspective, we investigate the unique properties of natural, evolved, and designed enzymes, recognizing their strengths and shortcomings. We highlight the challenges and limitations of current enzyme design protocols, with a particular focus on their limited consideration of long-range electrostatic and dynamic effects. We then delve deeper into the impact of the protein environment on enzyme catalysis and explore the roles of preorganized electric fields, second coordination sphere interactions, and protein dynamics for enzyme function. Furthermore, we present several case studies illustrating successful enzyme-design efforts incorporating enzyme strategies mentioned above to achieve improved catalytic properties. Finally, we envision the future of enzyme design research, spotlighting the challenges yet to be overcome and the synergy of intrinsic electric fields, second coordination sphere interactions, and conformational dynamics to push the state-of-the-art boundaries.
From random to rational: improving enzyme design through electric fields, second coordination sphere interactions, and conformational dynamics.
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