Radio controlled enzymes

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Radio controlled enzymes

The activity of enzymes can be increased by radio emission.

The structure of the amylase enzyme, which breaks down polysaccharides such as starch and glycogen into maltose and glucose. Different parts of the molecule are highlighted in different colors. (Photo: Leonid_Andronov / Depositphotos) View full size ‹ ›

Enzyme proteins perform all the biochemical work in our cells, but the enzymes themselves can only work under strictly defined conditions. Therefore, it can be very difficult to speed up and “improve” an enzymatic reaction. For example, we assume that if we increase the temperature, the reaction will go faster, but the enzyme does not allow this to happen. Like any protein, an enzyme has a certain spatial structure on which its function depends. The three-dimensional structure is held together by physicochemical bonds within the protein molecule, which can be disrupted if the temperature becomes higher than optimal.

However, researchers from ITMO University have found a way to increase the efficiency of enzymes without destroying them. A paper in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering describes nanoparticles with enzymes inside: proteins are enclosed in a rigid, porous framework of magnetite nanoparticles. Particles can be heated by radio radiation – when heated, they transfer part of the energy to the enzyme, which therefore begins to work faster, while the rigid frame limits the mobility of different parts of the protein molecule, preventing it from losing its working shape. In experiments with the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which is sensitive to temperature under normal conditions, the reaction rate was increased by 4 times, while maintaining the functionality of the enzyme.

Radio radiation easily penetrates living tissues and is harmless to the body. That is, with its help you can control the activity of enzymes in the body and adjust cell metabolism. The authors of the work plan to soon test their approach with nanoparticles on other enzymes and try to use them to influence the life activity of bacteria or cells – for example, make them divide faster or slower.

Based on materials from the ITMO press service.

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Peter Hughes

industrial designer with a passion for creativity and innovation. Since 2015, he has dedicated his expertise to shaping the world through his designs. Prior to his current role, Peter served as a teaching assistant at the NY Institute of Information Technology, sharing his knowledge and guiding aspiring minds. Additionally, he holds the esteemed position of Editor-in-Chief at PlayStation Game Station LLC, fueling his love for gaming and the digital world. Beyond his professional pursuits, Peter embraces life as an explorer, immersing himself in new experiences, a social media fanatic, a travel geek, an alcohol enthusiast, and a specialist in music. Through his multifaceted interests, Peter continually seeks to broaden his horizons and make a positive impact on the world around him.