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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2013 Dec;24(6):1010-6. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2013.02.027. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Change, exchange, and rearrange: protein engineering for the biotechnological production of fuels, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals.

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Energy Biosciences Institute, The University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Enzymes are indispensable in the effort to produce chemicals from fuels to pharmaceuticals in an ecologically friendly manner. They have the potential to catalyze reactions with high specificity and efficiency without the use of hazardous chemicals. Nature provides an extensive collection of enzymes, but often these must be altered to perform desired functions under required conditions. Advances in protein engineering permit the design and/or directed evolution of enzymes specifically tailored for such industrial applications. Recent years have seen the development of improved enzymes to assist in both the conversion of biomass into fuels and chemicals, and the creation of key intermediates in pharmaceutical production.

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