Protein engineering constitutes a powerful tool for generating novel proteins that serve as catalysts to induce selective chemical and biological transformations that would not otherwise be possible. Protocols that are commonly employed for altering the substrate specificity and selectivity profiles by mutating known enzymes include rational and random methods as well as techniques that entail evolution, selection and screening. Proteins identified by these techniques play important roles in a variety of industrial and medicinal applications and in the study of protein structure-function relationships. Herein we present a critical overview of methods for creating new functional proteins having altered specificity profiles and some practical case studies in which these techniques have been applied to solving problems in synthetic and medicinal chemistry and to elucidating enzyme function and biological pathways.
- Enzyme specificity
- Protein engineering