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Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 95, pp. 20352036, March 1998

Summary: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
Vol. 95, pp. 20352036, March 1998
Enzyme engineering reaches the boiling point
Frances H. Arnold*
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering 210-41, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125
The boiled enzyme was toppled as a standard enzymology
control when researchers in the 1970s started uncovering
enzymes that loved the heat (1). Identification of a variety of
intrinsically hyperstable enzymes from hyperthermophilic or-
ganisms, with optimal growth temperatures of 100C and
above, has piqued academic curiosity (e.g., how do these
proteins withstand such ``extreme'' conditions?) and generated
considerable interest for their possible applications in biotech-
nology (2, 3). The realization that enzymes can function at such
high temperatures has spawned thermophily-envy, causing
researchers and enzyme users to wonder whether their favorite
mesophilic enzymes could be engineered to resist boiling, or at
least long-term storage on a warm shelf. Perhaps their enzyme
has no good thermophilic counterpart, or they do not relish


Source: Arnold, Frances H. - Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology


Collections: Chemistry; Biology and Medicine