Evolution of enzyme superfamilies

Margaret E. Glasner, John A. Gerlt, Patricia C. Babbitt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Enzyme evolution is often constrained by aspects of catalysis. Sets of homologous proteins that catalyze different overall reactions but share an aspect of catalysis, such as a common partial reaction, are called mechanistically diverse superfamilies. The common mechanistic steps and structural characteristics of several of these superfamilies, including the enolase, Nudix, amidohydrolase, and haloacid dehalogenase superfamilies have been characterized. In addition, studies of mechanistically diverse superfamilies are helping to elucidate mechanisms of functional diversification, such as catalytic promiscuity. Understanding how enzyme superfamilies evolve is vital for accurate genome annotation, predicting protein functions, and protein engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-497
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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