CORDIS - Forschungsergebnisse der EU

The Fluctuating Enzyme: From Catalysis to Vibrational Dynamics


Einblicke in stochastische Prozesse der enzymatischen Katalyse

Enzyme sind Schlüsselkatalysatoren lebenswichtiger biologischer Prozesse, die Wachstum, Entwicklung und Stoffwechsel bei allen Organismen steuern. Mit modernsten Technologien gelang es der Forschung bislang, Enzyme zu charakterisieren und zu manipulieren, was auf Einzelmolekülebene wichtige Einblicke zu enzymatischen Reaktionen lieferte. Schwerpunkt des EU-finanzierten Projekts FLUCTENZ sind nun stochastische Prozesse der Enzymaktivität, insbesondere Einflüsse thermischer Fluktuationen auf Enzyme. So entwickelt das Projekt theoretische und mathematische Methoden, um das Verhalten von Enzymen unter verschiedenen Bedingungen verstehen und bestimmen zu können. Da die enzymatische Katalyse Grundlage allen Lebens ist, werden die Ergebnisse des Projekts für die Grundlagen- und angewandte Forschung von großer Bedeutung sein.


Enzymes spin the wheel of life by catalyzing a myriad of chemical reactions central to the growth, development, and metabolism of all living organisms. Without enzymes, essential processes would progress so slowly that life would virtually grind to a halt, and the quest to determine their inner workings thus continues to attract and fascinate scientists over a broad range of disciplines. Cutting-edge methods now allow one to observe and manipulate individual enzymes in their reaction course. These revealed that chemistry at the single-molecule level is inherently stochastic and, at times, extremely unintuitive. Thermal fluctuations push enzymes to vibrate erratically and force a probabilistic description, but classical approaches are deeply entrenched in determinism, and so is our basic expectation for how things should behave in the world around us. The groundbreaking purpose of this proposal is to bring advanced theoretical methods and mathematical tools to the analysis of stochastic fluctuations of enzymes and proteins at the single-molecule level. These will be based on state-of-the-art approaches in statistical physics and stochastic processes that I will adapt and further advance to need. Equipped with mathematical techniques that have so far been foreign to the field, I expect to rectify fundamental flaws in our understanding, predict the emergence of novel phenomena, and show how single-molecule fluctuations can be extracted from bulk, steady-state, concentrations—despite belief that this is fundamentally impossible. Novel analysis methods that I will apply to tens of thousands of protein structures would complement these efforts and aid in the discovery of unifying principles governing thermal fluctuations of enzymes and proteins. The amalgamation of all these efforts will pave the way to large-scale, multi-tier, characterization of fluctuations which is expected to transform our understanding of enzymes and enzymatic catalysis.


ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Gastgebende Einrichtung

€ 1 496 875,00
69978 Tel Aviv

Auf der Karte ansehen

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
€ 1 496 875,00

Begünstigte (1)