Research NewsChemistry

New “Guiding” Protein Discovered

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5298, pp. 306
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5298.306

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Compared to nature's chemical wizardry, human chemists are all thumbs. Inside plant cells, for instance, tiny chemical factories manage to crank out just one version of a chemical flawlessly, while most test-tube reactions yield messy mixtures of many isomers. But now researchers report on page 362 that they have discovered what appears to be a whole new class of compounds, so-called “dirigent” proteins that seem to grab and maneuver chemical building blocks so they join in the proper orientation. The finding could be a boon for drug companies and the paper industry.