Protein engineering has become the principle means of examining the active site of an enzyme to identify and quantify the roles of specific residues in ligand binding, specificity and catalysis. Site-specific mutagenesis has extended our knowledge gained from X-ray crystallography, and has provided striking proof that the intricate active-site geometry is supported by the remainder of the protein infrastructure for maximum catalytic efficiency.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to express our thanks to Dr Randy Zauhar of the Biocomputing Center for help with the molecular graphics, and to Kaye Yarnell for the expert typing of this manuscript. We also wish to thank the NIH for financial support through grants GM24129 (SJB) and GM12050 (CRW).