The Simplest "Enzyme"

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Science  06 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5600, pp. 1904-1905
DOI: 10.1126/science.1076547

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Chemists trying to emulate the efficiency and specificity of enzyme catalysis have focused most of their attention on organometallic catalysts. In their Perspective, Movassaghi and Jacobsen turn the spotlight on a purely organic molecule that is showing surprising versatility and specificity: the natural amino acid proline. This tiny "enzyme" shows how small a highly active and selective catalyst can be.