Directed Evolution of Enzymes

Published on November 2, 2017

Interview with Donald Hilvert, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

recorded at BEILSTEIN ENZYMOLOGY SYMPOSIUM – Enzymes in Transformation and Signalling
Rüdesheim, Germany, 19 – 21 September 2017

Donald Hilvert is talking with Carsten Kettner about the driving forces of the evolution of enzymes. Apparently, there are different ways of evolving enzymes either through artificial driving forces that are applied to select enzymes for higher activities and temperature stabilities or through natural forces. Driving forces of natural evolution are determined by the survival of organism in order to enable organisms to cope with challenges for the metabolism and the development of resistances to pathogens. Donald studies the principles of catalysis to understand how enzymes work and – through directed evolution – creates new enzymes in the lab using a variety of methods that range from computational design to modifications on the gene level. These enzymes can be used in medicine, e.g. proteases that inactivate viruses, or industry, e.g. stereo-specific catalysts that facilitate the biosynthesis of an efficient pharmaceutical agent.

Please have a look at our other videos with some speakers and their standpoints on enzyme research:

Functional Anlysis of Promiscuous Enzymes
Karen N. Allen, Boston University, USA

Efficiency of Enzyme Catalysis
Kenneth A. Johnson, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Nature is the Master of Design
Roland Wohlgemuth, ESAB, Buchs, Switzerland

Discussion: Data Deposition Increases Credibility
Barbara M. Bakker, Carsten Kettner, Thomas S. Leyh, Johann M. Rohwer, Reinhard Sterner

The Beilstein Enzymology Symposia embrace structural, computational and biological disciplines, and bring researchers (established and younger workers) together to discuss the many and diverse roles of enzymes in biology, and to explore the limits and challenges of holistic studies that attempt to integrate microscopic views of protein function into complex biological behaviour.

This symposium addresses enzymes and other signal‑cascade proteins which capture and transduce these diverse signals into discrete chemical entities that inform and direct cellular behaviour. Molecular-information processing networks require the coordinated interplay of numerous components, and are the focus of systems-biological investigations aimed at understanding, for example, the spread of disease, or identifying targets that can control signal-transduction.

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