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Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2006 Jul-Sep;26(3):165-99.

Directed evolution: an approach to engineer enzymes.

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Department of Biotechnology, University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.


Directed evolution is being used increasingly in industrial and academic laboratories to modify and improve commercially important enzymes. Laboratory evolution is thought to make its biggest contribution in explorations of non-natural functions, by allowing us to distinguish the properties nurtured by evolution. In this review we report the significant advances achieved with respect to the methods of biocatalyst improvement and some critical properties and applications of the modified enzymes. The application of directed evolution has been elaborately demonstrated for protein solubility, stability and catalytic efficiency. Modification of certain enzymes for their application in enantioselective catalysis has also been elucidated. By providing a simple and reliable route to enzyme improvement, directed evolution has emerged as a key technology for enzyme engineering and biocatalysis.

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