Designer enzyme

Enzymes (biocatalysts) are mainly biological molecules which have the ability to influence a reaction. Enzyme engineering deals with enhancement of enzyme activity of existing enzyme or inducing a new enzyme activity. This is obtained by modifying amino acids sequence of the enzyme. The principle behind enzyme engineering is ultimately modification of amino acids of enzymes which results in a change in the property of the enzymes. The changes brought about are mostly visible in the primary structure of proteins coded by amino acids. It is not possible to alter the protein functions by modifying any sequence of amino acids. The properties of an enzyme can be altered by introduction of changes only in the specific regions of the amino acids. Therefore, it becomes necessary that the genes coding for such portions be identified and then modified as required.

    The properties which are usually targeted for improvements by enzyme engineering are

  • Kinetic properties
  • Allosteric regulation
  • Specificity
  • Effect of factors like temperature, solvents, pH.

In an industry that is strained for improved performance of enzymes and has direct impact on the economics of production, our approach provides useful insights to address multiple dimensions like chirality, regio-selectivity and more to shorten the evolutionary cycle for delivering enzymes of desired properties. We have designed a novel method that incorporates molecular motions of the enzymes into a grid to predict enzyme activity. This method that predicts enzyme activity with high accuracy can be used to screen enzyme modifications/mutations and derive focused library with high confidence level.