New Insights about Enzyme Evolution from Large-Scale Studies of Sequence and Structure Relationships [Computational Biology]

September 10th, 2014 by Brown, S. D., Babbitt, P. C.

Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes.