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Karl Gruber and Christoph Kratky Biopolymers for biocatalysis: Structure and catalytic mechanism of hydroxynitrile lyases Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry 42

Version of Record online: 15 DEC 2003 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.10845

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Hydroxynitrile lyases (HNLs) catalyze the reversible cleavage of α-cyanohydrins to yield hydrocyanic acid and the corresponding aldehyde or ketone. Besides its biological interest, this class of enzymes is also of relevance in industrial biocatalysis for the enantioselective condensation of HCN with a variety of aldehydes and ketones. Several distinctly different types of HNLs are known, which must have originated through convergent evolution from different ancestral proteins. Three-dimensional structural data are known for three classes of HNLs. Insights into the reaction mechanisms emerged from a combination of structural, enzyme kinetic, spectroscopic, and molecular modeling data.

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