Total chemical synthesis of a D-enzyme: the enantiomers of HIV-1 protease show reciprocal chiral substrate specificity [corrected]

Science  05 Jun 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5062, pp. 1445-1448
DOI: 10.1126/science.1604320

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The D and L forms of the enzyme HIV-1 protease have been prepared by total chemical synthesis. The two proteins had identical covalent structures. However, the folded protein-enzyme enantiomers showed reciprocal chiral specificity on peptide substrates. That is, each enzyme enantiomer cut only the corresponding substrate enantiomer. Reciprocal chiral specificity was also evident in the effect of enantiomeric inhibitors. These data imply that the folded forms of the chemically synthesized D- and L-enzyme molecules are mirror images of one another in all elements of the three-dimensional structure. Enantiomeric proteins are expected to display reciprocal chiral specificity in all aspects of their biochemical interactions.

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