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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 58, Issue 10, pp 1451–1460 | Cite as

Superefficient enzymes

  • M.E. Stroppolo
  • M. Falconi
  • A.M. Caccuri
  • A. Desideri

Abstract.

Diffusion-controlled enzymes are characterized by second-order rate constants in the range 108-1010 M-1s-1. These values are at the upper end of the observed rates of many enzyme-substrate reactions and have been predicted by theoretical studies on bimolecular reaction in solution. Such enzymes are considered to be perfect, since their rate-limiting step is not due to any chemical event but to the diffusional association rate between the enzyme and the substrate. Often the enzyme-substrate encounter is facilitated either through the presence of a strong attractive electric field, produced by charges on the enzyme surface, or through the reduction in the dimension of the search process. Here we provide a brief review of some of the enzymes characterized by a very fast second-order constant, focusing attention on triose phosphate isomerase and Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase taken as typical examples of such highly tuned enzymes.

Key words. Electrostatics; Brownian dynamics; diffusion control; triose phosphate isomerase; Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase. 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.E. Stroppolo
    • 1
  • M. Falconi
    • 1
  • A.M. Caccuri
    • 1
  • A. Desideri
    • 1
  1. 1.INFM and Department of Biology, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Rome (Italy), Fax: +39 06 7259 4326, e-mail: desideri@uniroma2.it IT

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