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ERIC Number: EJ990934
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Using Biocatalysis to Integrate Organic Chemistry into a Molecular Biology Laboratory Course
Beers, Mande; Archer, Crystal; Feske, Brent D.; Mateer, Scott C.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v40 n2 p130-137 Mar-Apr 2012
Current cutting-edge biomedical investigation requires that the researcher have an operational understanding of several diverse disciplines. Biocatalysis is a field of science that operates at the crossroads of organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology, and provides an excellent model for interdisciplinary research. We have developed an inquiry-based module that uses the mutagenesis of the yeast reductase, YDL124w, to study the bioorganic synthesis of the taxol side-chain, a pharmacologically important molecule. Using related structures, students identify regions they think will affect enzyme stereoselective, design and generate site-specific mutants, and then characterize the effect of these changes on enzyme activity. This laboratory activity gives our students experience, working in a scientific discipline outside of biology and exposes them to techniques and equipment they do not normally work with in a molecular biology course. These inter-disciplinary experiences not only show the relevance of other sciences to biology, but also give our students the ability to communicate more effectively with scientists outside their discipline. (Contains 7 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A