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Identification and Evolution of Biocatalysts of Interest

Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics book series (NAPSB)

Abstract

Enzymes are potent biocatalysts for the detection and degradation of chemical warfare agents, due to their activity under mild conditions, the minimization of toxic intermediates, and their high specificity. Despite their numerous advantages in comparison to chemical catalysts, their application is hindered from the difficulty to identify enzymes which are active against a specific agent, as well as to optimize their catalytic activity for a desired process. Recent advances in the field of molecular biology and biotechnology promoted significantly these efforts and pave the way for a vast spectrum of applications, including the biocatalytic processing of chemical warfare agents. Herein, current methods for the identification of enzymes with desired properties are described as well as methods to further evolve the identified enzymes, in order to meet the needs of the desired process. As an example, the application of protein engineering on enzymes active on organohalogen compounds is discussed.

Keywords

  • Protein engineering
  • Rational design
  • Directed evolution
  • De novo design
  • Organohalogen compounds

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Correspondence to Ioannis V. Pavlidis .

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Pavlidis, I.V. (2018). Identification and Evolution of Biocatalysts of Interest. In: Petkov, P., Tsiulyanu, D., Popov, C., Kulisch, W. (eds) Advanced Nanotechnologies for Detection and Defence against CBRN Agents. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1298-7_47

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