Discuss the use of directed evolution in enzyme technology Essay

Discuss the use of directed evolution in enzyme technology – Essay Example

Moreover, the synthesis of molecules in the laboratory requires the aid of enzymes. However, scientists have had challenges in designing highly specific enzymes that exhibit remarkable stability for use in the different processes that require enzymes. Initially, they relied on rational design, but the products of this process did not prove desirable. The emergence of the directed evolution enzyme technology in the 1990s has served to alter the production of enzymes. This process relies on selected parent gene, subjection to a mutagen until they yield variants of the parent gene selected. This paper will discuss the process of directed evolution enzyme technology (Simpson 2012, p. 54).

Prior to the development of the directed evolution concept, the application of enzymes in a diverse range of processes presented salient challenges. As many enzymologists have described, enzyme specificity is the most critical aspect in the functioning of any enzyme. The enzyme must exhibit exemplary specificity for its substrates. This serves to increase its efficiency in the catalysis process. However, many of the enzymes developed for use in many processes exhibited limited specificity (Soetaert & Vandamme 2007, p. 146). Moreover, whereas many processes were designed to occur at remarkably high temperatures, many enzymes proved unstable. Evidently, many of the enzymes exhibited low and undesirable reaction rates, and the rates of substrate conversion proved slow. In other cases, product inhibition occurred, retarding the process. These challenges necessitated the development of a procedure that could serve as a reliable method for the production of enzymes with desirable qualities. As highlighted above, the process of rational design that comprised of screening produced DNA libraries and subsequently engineering them did not address most of these setbacks (Arnold & Georgiou 2003, p. 54). The minimal success in rational design is

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