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UCLA researchers reconstitute enzyme that synthesizes cholesterol drug lovastatin
Date:11/3/2009

stations, and in one round you have to go through a combination of these seven stations. Remarkably, this enzyme uses the assembly line eight times to make this small molecule every time, it uses a different combination of the individual stations," Tang said. "So the large enzyme is programmed to utilize these stations differentially at every cycle, in different combinations, and now we can do it in a test tube."

Tang's team has been able to recapture all of the steps needed to make the lovastatin precursor molecule. And with this, Tang hopes they will be able to disrupt, tweak and change some of the steps to make slightly different molecules that can be just as beneficial.

"It's biosynthetic engineering of an assembly line to make a molecule that nature doesn't make," Tang said. "So our eventual goal, once we understand how the enzyme works, is to rationally manipulate the individual stations or manipulate how a set of stations is used in each iteration to generate new compounds that nature doesn't make that will result in new activities, new molecules."


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Contact: Wileen Wong Kromhout
wwkromhout@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0540
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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