Protein engineering is a rapidly growing area of research. It aims to improve proteins for industrial and other applications. Proteins can be engineered and modified various ways, but we use methods inspired by biology, and call these directed evolution. We mimic what happens in nature. Mutant libraries are created and those with desirable traits selected. We can alter the substrate specificity of an enzyme, and change its stability and solubility – all important characters for selecting practical protein catalysts.
Directed evolution offers a new and powerful way to understand how enzymes function. Mutants with changed catalytic properties can be studied to better understand how they function, and also to engineer further generations of enzymes.
The talk will focus on the application of directed evolution to several enzymes and a hemoglobin.