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Despite slow catalysis and confused substrate specificity, all ribulose bisphosphate carboxylases may be nearly perfectly optimized

Tcherkez, Guillame; Andrews, Thomas; Farquhar, Graham


The cornerstone of autotrophy, the CO2-fixing enzyme, D-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), is hamstrung by slow catalysis and confusion between CO2 and O2 as substrates, an "abominably perplexing" puzzle, in Darwin's parlance. Here we argue that these characteristics stem from difficulty in binding the featureless CO2 molecule, which forces specificity for the gaseous substrate to be determined largely or completely in the transition state. We hypothesize that natural...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2006
Type: Journal article
Source: PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0600605103


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