The interplay between chemistry and biology in the design of enzymatic catalysts

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Science  22 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4851, pp. 426-433
DOI: 10.1126/science.2833815


Chemists and biologists are focusing considerable effort on the development of efficient, highly selective catalysts for the synthesis or modification of complex molecules. Two approaches are described here, the generation of catalytic antibodies and hybrid enzymes, which exploit the binding and catalytic machinery of nature in catalyst design. Characterization of these systems is providing additional insight into the mechanisms of molecular recognition and catalysis which may, in turn, lead to the design of tailor-made catalysts for applications in chemistry, biology, and medicine.

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