S Martínez Cuesta, SA Rahman, JM Thornton
Journal name: 
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Citation info: 
Isomerization reactions are fundamental in biology, and isomers usually differ in their biological role and pharmacological effects. In this study, we have cataloged the isomerization reactions known to occur in biology using a combination of manual and computational approaches. This method provides a robust basis for comparison and clustering of the reactions into classes. Comparing our results with the Enzyme Commission (EC) classification, the standard approach to represent enzyme function on the basis of the overall chemistry of the catalyzed reaction, expands our understanding of the biochemistry of isomerization. The grouping of reactions involving stereoisomerism is straightforward with two distinct types (racemases/epimerases and cis-trans isomerases), but reactions entailing structural isomerism are diverse and challenging to classify using a hierarchical approach. This study provides an overview of which isomerases occur in nature, how we should describe and classify them, and their diversity.
E-pub date: 
16 Feb 2016