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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 1998 Oct;2(5):607-12.

Mechanistically diverse enzyme superfamilies: the importance of chemistry in the evolution of catalysis.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 61801, USA.


The strategy that nature has used to evolve new catalytic activities from pre-existing enzymes (i.e. retention of substrate binding or of catalytic mechanism) has been controversial. Recent work supports a strategy in which a partial reaction, catalyzed by a progenitor, is retained, and the active-site architecture is modified to allow the intermediate generated to be directed to different products.

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