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Trends Biotechnol. 1997 Dec;15(12):523-30.

Directed evolution of enzyme catalysts.

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  • 1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering 210-41, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA.


Directed enzyme evolution has emerged in the past few years as a powerful alternative to rational approaches for engineering biocatalysts. Prerequisites for successful directed evolution are functional expression in a suitable microbial host, a rapid screen for the desired feature(s) and a well-thought-out working strategy for navigating protein landscapes. The rapidly growing body of literature on enzyme evolution in vitro includes techniques for creating and searching combinatorial enzyme libraries, as well as several successful examples of different evolutionary strategies being used.

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