Violation of chemistry rules led to the opening of a new method of synthesis

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Scientists have discovered that minor changes in the structure of the enzyme can significantly change its capabilities, turning into an effective tool for the synthesis of complex chemical molecules.

Ordinary enzymes have very «conservative» catalytic amino acids that contribute to the flow of a certain type of reaction. Therefore, in nature, there is such a huge amount. A group of chemists from Nottingham and Bern universities decided to explore the intact area and modify the key catalytic residue in the active center of acyltransferase.

As expected, as a result, even a minor mutation, the enzyme really stopped splitting the esters. However, the researchers found that instead the biocatalyst began the ability to synthesize esters and other functional groups, such as thioethers and amides.

According to the team, although in terms of nature, such changes are meaningless, extended opportunities are opening huge prospects for the effective and inexpensive receipt of many beneficial chemicals for commercial purposes. For example, mutating enzymes can be used to produce new drugs or food.

Previously, we also reported the development of spongy material for effective transformation of waste vegetable.

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