(L to R) Shilin Xie, Mackenzie Lauro, Ming Dong, Tara Gonzalez, Mike Willburn, Wally Drake, Brian Bahnson, Tom Rivas and Meg Klems (not pictured: Steve Kirby).
We are exploring the fascinating catalytic power of enzymes with a focus on two related areas of interest: (i) x-ray crystallography is used to solve structures of substrate complexes and intermediates of enzyme catalyzed reactions and (ii) understanding the role of evolved ordered enzyme motions in catalysis. This work will provide more thorough answers to the questions: how do precise interactions of all the active site side chains, metal ions, bound water molecules and intermediates contribute to catalysis? what does the transition state look like for a chemical step between two observable enzyme-intermediate structures? and how do evolved ordered motions of the entire enzyme play a part in catalysis?