The objective of this research is to gain deeper insight into how enzymes bring about catalysis of two central bioreactions, phosphate and sulphate transfer. We will use directed evolution approaches to find molecular solutions to travel the evolutionary distance between these two mechanistically related reactions. The choice of reactions is triggered by the observation of catalytic promiscuity, i.e. an enzyme activity in addition to the one it is evolved for and a possible starting point for natural evolution. In this way we attempt to mimic the way nature may have evolved new function. Kinetic and mechanistic experiments (in particular transient, pre-steady state kinetics) will enable us to trace the structural and quantitative mechanistic basis for the acquisition of a new catalytic activity.
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