What’s It All Good For?

Written by Science Knowledge on 11:25 PM

Enzyme kinetics is a subject dreaded by all but hard-core biochemists. Purifying proteins and measuring product generated or substrate consumed at varying concentrations of enzyme and substrate—not to mention the characterization of competitive and noncompetitive inhibitors— and then integrating these data within a mechanistic scheme that spits out rate constants… well, this is not the stuff that dreams are made of, and neither is reading someone else’s enzyme kinetics papers.

Umejiego et al. have applied this kind of information (a random order of substrate binding and a rate-limiting hydrolysis of the covalent enzyme intermediate) in designing a small-molecule screen for inhibitors of the enzyme inosine- 5’-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). Why should we care? Because IMPDH salvages purines in order to supply guanine in the human pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum, and because the C. parvum enzyme differs enough from human IMPDH to serve as a drug target. By screening under kinetically defined conditions where the conserved IMP site was occupied, whereas the less conserved NAD site was empty, they managed to fish out 10 candidates from a starting pool of 44,000 compounds. Four of these were more potent inhibitors of C. parvum growth than the standard drug paromomycin in a cell culture assay.

*.* Source of Information : 15th February 2008 Science

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In its broadest sense, science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") refers to any systematic knowledge or practice. In its more usual restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research.

Fields of science are commonly classified along two major lines: natural sciences, which study natural phenomena (including biological life), and social sciences, which study human behavior and societies. These groupings are empirical sciences, which means the knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and capable of being experimented for its validity by other researchers working under the same conditions.


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