Speaker: Nobuhiko Tokuriki, Associate Professor, Dept of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia
Title: Dynamics and constraints of enzyme evolution
Abstract: The wealth of distinct enzymatic functions found in nature is impressive and the on-going evolutionary divergence of enzymatic functions continues to generate new and efficient catalysts, which can be seen through the recent emergence of enzymes able to degrade xenobiotics. How have these diverse enzyme functions evolved? Recreating such processes in the laboratory has been met with only moderate success. What are the factors that lead to suboptimal research outputs? I will present our recent efforts to enhance our understanding of evolution of enzyme functions within superfamilies. First, I discuss about how seemingly unrelated catalytic activities observed in enzyme superfamilies are connected one to another through promiscuous enzymes. Second, I will present a series of experimental evolution to evolve enzyme functions in the laboratory. I will discuss molecular basis underlying functional transitions, e.g., molecular tinkering of active site residues and protein dynamics. Third, I will describe constraints in enzyme evolution, i.e., success of evolution can depend on initial genotypes. Finally, I will discuss about how we could improve our ability to design and engineer novel proteins and enzymes in the laboratory.
For more information about this seminar and about joining in online, please contact Hyacinth Camillieri at firstname.lastname@example.org