NEPTUNE SEMINAR SERIES |Nicholas Sarai| 21 Jul | 16h30*

*This seminar will take place at 16h30 to accomodate the speaker time zone.


Title: Directed evolution of a C-alkylating enzyme for noncanonical amino acid synthesis


Name: Nicholas Sarai


Enzymes are useful biocatalysts that can be produced sustainably and can accelerate reactions with excellent selectivity and efficiency. Directed evolution is a powerful framework that can tune the function(s) of enzymes through iterative rounds of mutation and selection. The talk will begin with a description of the theory and practice behind directed evolution. Engineering studies of the PLP-dependent enzyme tryptophan synthase (TrpB) will be used as case studies to demonstrate directed evolution in action. TrpB converts serine and indole to the amino acid tryptophan but in principle any nucleophile can be used in the place of indole to create tryptophan analogs. The engineering of TrpB to accept nitroalkanes and oxindoles en route to noncanonical tryptophan analogs will be described.


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