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J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Oct 5;127(39):13466-7.

Improving the catalytic activity of Candida antarctica lipase B by circular permutation.

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Department of Chemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Lipases (EC play an important role in asymmetric biocatalysis. Tailoring these enzymes to novel, unnatural substrates is one of the primary challenges of protein engineering. We have used circular permutation, the intramolecular relocation of a protein's N- and C-termini, to explore the effects of altered active site accessibility and protein backbone flexibility on the catalytic performance of lipase B from Candida antarctica (CALB). Our combinatorial approach identified 63 unique functional protein permutants of CALB, and kinetic analysis of selected candidates indicated that a majority of enzyme variants either retained or surpassed wild-type CALB activity on a series of standard substrates. Beyond the potential benefits of these tailor-made lipases as new catalysts for unnatural substrates, our study validates circular permutation as a promising general method for lipase engineering.

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