Transition States

A transition state holds a pose

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Science  20 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6224, pp. 836
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6224.836-h

The transition state of a chemical transformation is inherently fleeting because the structure is high in energy. Nonetheless, Pearson et al. trapped a classical example of a bond rotation transition state using a modified protein (see the Perspective by Romney and Miller). The biphenyl molecule passes through an energy maximum when its rings rotate through a parallel position. A pocket within the editing domain of threonyl–transfer RNA synthetase was modified to stabilize parallel biphenyl rings, allowing further characterization of this normally transient structure.

Science, this issue p. 863; see also p. 829

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