December 14, 2013

UI researcher studies evolution on the molecular level

Findings may be useful in design of future drugs and catalysts

The theory of evolution suggests that present-day organisms evolved from earlier life forms.

At the molecular level, evolution reshaped some of the enzymes that help complete chemical processes—such as converting food into energy—in humans and all other life forms.

Now a University of Iowa researcher and his colleagues describe the evolution of various forms of the enzyme “dihydrofolate reductase” as it occurred from bacteria to humans. Their paper, “Preservation of Protein Dynamics in Dihydrofolate Reductase Evolution,” appears in the Dec. 13 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.