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Computational enzymology, structure function and evolution of enzymes

Video, Feb 03 2022

Biochemistry Focus webinar series

60 mins

In this webinar, we heard from the 2021 Biochemical Society Award winner, Professor Dame Janet Thornton at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Cambridge (UK).

Enzymes catalyse most of the chemical reactions which are essential for life. They are powerful catalysts that have evolved over millions of years to perform the functions in an organism that are necessary for survival. Using structural data and computational biology, Professor Thornton and her colleagues at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Cambridge, seek to understand and predict how enzymes work and how they evolve to perform new enzyme functions. In her Award Lecture, Professor Thornton presented an overview of the current knowledge of enzymes, their evolution and recent progress in computational enzymology, focussing on three aspects relevant to understanding enzyme catalysis:

  • An overview of the basic catalytic machinery in proteins from M-CSA (Mechanism and Catalytic Site Atlas)
  • An analysis of the extent and role of structural flexibility in enzymes
  • Their progress towards predicting enzyme mechanisms, given knowledge of the reaction and structure of the enzyme/reactant complex.

This webinar was chaired by Professor Colin Bingle, University of Sheffield and Chair of the Biochemical Society's Awards Committee.

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