Pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes are unrivaled in the diversity of reactions that they catalyze. New structural data have paved the way for targeted mutagenesis and mechanistic studies and have provided a framework for interpretation of those results. Together, these complementary approaches yield new insight into function, particularly in understanding the origins of substrate and reaction type specificity. The combination of new sequences and structures enables better reconstruction of their evolutionary heritage and illuminates unrecognized similarities within this diverse group of enzymes. The important metabolic roles of many PLP-dependent enzymes drive efforts to design specific inhibitors, which are now guided by the availability of comprehensive structural and functional databases. Better understanding of the function of this important group of enzymes is crucial not only for inhibitor design, but also for the design of improved protein-based catalysts.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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