DNA Building Block Reinvented

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Science  05 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5578, pp. 61-62
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073910

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It might be assumed that mechanisms for the biosynthesis of essential DNA precursors would be conserved in all organisms. However, Murzin discusses new work ( Myllykallio et al.) showing that a large family of enzymes, named ThyX, synthesize thymidylate by an alternate mechanism. The structure of ThyX has been determined independently and together these findings pave the way for rational drug design.