Research NewsChemistry

Mimicking an Enzyme in Look and Deed

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Science  23 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5350, pp. 479-480
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5350.479b

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When chemists make small-molecule models of enzymes, the models rarely catalyze chemical reactions in the same way the original enzymes do. Now a new model catalyst, reported on page 537 of this issue, mimics the active site of an enzyme known as galactose oxidase--and mimics its action as well, transforming alcohols to aldehydes. Researchers say this success may point the way to other enzyme mimics that could reduce the complexity and cost of many industrial reactions.