Molecular DJ - Chorismate Synthase





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Published on Nov 11, 2012

The amino acid sequence of Chorismate Synthase converted to music.

Amino acids are the building blocks are proteins. A large complex (Ribosome) of proteins and DNA-like chains called RNA assemble the amino acid building blocks into long chains, which subsequently fold into a protein with a specific function or role. It's our DNA code that specifies the order in which the building blocks are assembled. However, the building blocks themselves must also be made. Bacteria are generally better at this than us: the humble E. coli bacterium can make all 20 building blocks required for life, while we can only make 12, relying on our diet for the remaining 8.

Chorismate synthase is an example of an enzyme (a protein that acts as a catalyst for a
specific reaction) that is important for making amino acids with ring structures (Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine). In fact, it's an important enzyme because its product (Chorismate) is a branching point, from which the three amino acids can be made. This pathway has been the focus of previous attempts to make new antibiotics, particularly for TB, because this pathway is not found in humans.


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