Engineered enzymes for improved organic synthesis

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2003 Aug;14(4):395-400. doi: 10.1016/s0958-1669(03)00095-8.


Recent developments to modify enzymes for use in organic synthesis have targeted several areas. These include altering the reaction mechanism of the enzyme to catalyse new reactions, switching substrate specificity, expanding substrate specificity, and improving substrate specificity, such as enantioselectivity in kinetic resolutions. Such modifications can be achieved either by rational redesign, which requires knowledge of the enzyme structure, or by random mutagenesis methods followed by screening. Both strategies of enzyme engineering can be successful and are very useful for improving the utility of enzymes for applied catalysis. Several examples illustrating these concepts in a variety of enzyme classes have appeared recently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Catalytic Domain / genetics
  • Computational Biology
  • Directed Molecular Evolution / trends
  • Drug Design
  • Enzymes / chemistry*
  • Enzymes / genetics
  • Enzymes / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Chemical
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutagenesis / genetics
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Organic Chemicals / chemical synthesis*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Engineering / trends*
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Thermodynamics


  • Enzymes
  • Organic Chemicals