Protein engineering techniques have been available for over two decades beginning with the development of methods for genetic engineering. Since that time, the engineering of enzymes has advanced rapidly along with a revolution in the range and efficiency of new techniques and strategies for designing and evolving proteins in the laboratory. While recent advances in high-throughput screening techniques are permitting larger libraries of enzymes to be screened more rapidly, a combination of new genetic tools and computational methods are enabling the efficient application of random mutagenesis targeted to areas of enzyme structures that are more likely to elicit the desired enhancement of their biocatalytic properties. Meanwhile the rational design of enzyme properties, in particular, by computational design is showing great potential. This review article summarises recent and important patents relating to the engineering of enzymes for biocatalysis.
Rational design, protein engineering, directed evolution, enzyme engineering, biocatalysis, computational design
The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK.