Enzymes catalyse virtually all chemical reactions in living organisms, making their rates compatible with life. These proteins have evolved to utilize a range of strategies to achieve incredible rate enhancements in comparison with the corresponding non-catalysed reactions. The study of enzymatic mechanisms is fundamental to elucidate how enzymes work in physical and chemical terms, and how their activity is regulated.
In the da Silva Lab, we apply techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology and physical organic chemistry to unravel the mechanisms of enzymatic reactions catalysed by multi-protein allosteric complexes, tRNA methyltranferases, and nucleotide hydrolases. Particular attention is given to transition-state structure, inhibitor design, and fast protein dynamics.
Dr Rafael G da Silva, School of Biology, Biomedical Sciences Research Complex, Faculty of Science, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, BMS Annexe B103, St Andrews, KY16 8YH, United Kingdom.