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Members of the serum paraoxonase (PON) family have been identified in mammals and other vertebrates, and in invertebrates. PONs exhibit a wide range of physiologically important hydrolytic activities, including drug metabolism and detoxification of nerve agents. PON1 and PON3 reside on high-density lipoprotein (HDL, 'good cholesterol') and are involved in(More)
The design of new enzymes for reactions not catalysed by naturally occurring biocatalysts is a challenge for protein engineering and is a critical test of our understanding of enzyme catalysis. Here we describe the computational design of eight enzymes that use two different catalytic motifs to catalyse the Kemp elimination-a model reaction for proton(More)
Most protein mutations, and mutations that alter protein functions in particular, undermine stability and are therefore deleterious. Chaperones, or heat-shock proteins, are often implicated in buffering mutations, and could thus facilitate the acquisition of neutral genetic diversity and the rate of adaptation. We examined the ability of the Escherichia(More)
In essence, evolutionary processes occur gradually, while maintaining fitness throughout. Along this line, it has been proposed that the ability of a progenitor to promiscuously catalyze a low level of the evolving activity could facilitate the divergence of a new function by providing an immediate selective advantage. To directly establish a role for(More)
The origins of enzyme specificity are well established. However, the molecular details underlying the ability of a single active site to promiscuously bind different substrates and catalyze different reactions remain largely unknown. To better understand the molecular basis of enzyme promiscuity, we studied the mammalian serum paraoxonase 1 (PON1) whose(More)
A single antibody was shown to adopt different binding-site conformations and thereby bind unrelated antigens. Analysis by both x-ray crystallography and pre-steady-state kinetics revealed an equilibrium between different preexisting isomers, one of which possessed a promiscuous, low-affinity binding site for aromatic ligands, including the immunizing(More)
Whether evolution is erratic due to random historical details, or is repeatedly directed along similar paths by certain constraints, remains unclear. Epistasis (i.e. non-additive interaction between mutations that affect fitness) is a mechanism that can contribute to both scenarios. Epistasis can constrain the type and order of selected mutations, but it(More)
BACKGROUND Serum paraoxonase (PON1) is a high density lipoprotein (HDL)-associated enzyme involved in organophosphate (OP) degradation and prevention of atherosclerosis. PON1 comprises a potential candidate for in vivo therapeutics, as an anti-atherogenic agent, and for detoxification of pesticides and nerve agents. Because human PON1 exhibits limited(More)