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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2000 Dec;10(6):719-30.

Combining structural genomics and enzymology: completing the picture in metabolic pathways and enzyme active sites.

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The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular Biology, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


An important goal of structural genomics is to complete the structural analysis of all the enzymes in metabolic pathways and to understand the structural similarities and differences. A preliminary glimpse of this type of analysis was achieved before structural genomics efforts with the glycolytic pathway and efforts are underway for many other pathways, including that of catecholamine metabolism. Structural enzymology necessitates a complete structural characterization, even for highly homologous proteins (greater than 80% sequence homology), as every active site has distinct structural features and it is these active site differences that distinguish one enzyme from another. Short cuts with homology modeling cannot be taken with our current knowledge base. Each enzyme structure in a pathway needs to be determined, including structures containing bound substrates, cofactors, products and transition state analogs, in order to obtain a complete structural and functional understanding of pathway-related enzymes.

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