Hydrolase Structure Exploration
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
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Hydrolases are a large class of enzymes that play many important functions in all living things. A simple review of enzyme nomenclature, makes it obvious that they are responsible for splitting water and adding it to molecules. This however is not as easily accomplished of a process as it sounds. Most often this process of adding water involves the breaking of bonds and the splitting of a relatively large biological molecule, then adding a hydroxyl group to one of the broken ends, and a proton to the other. This however is not the only function of hydrolases, some can catalyze the reverse reaction; The removal of water and the joining of two smaller molecules to form a larger one. In the case of epoxides the molecule is not broken, but a 3 membered ring is opened and a glycol is formed (just like the stuff you pour in your car’s radiator).
The three hydrolases which will be described in detail are: