Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New substances 15,000 times more effective in destroying chemical warfare agents

Date:
August 8, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In an advance that could be used in masks to protect against nerve gas, scientists are reporting development of proteins that are up to 15,000 times more effective than their natural counterpart in destroying chemical warfare agents.

In an advance that could be used in masks to protect against nerve gas, scientists are reporting development of proteins that are up to 15,000 times more effective than their natural counterpart in destroying chemical warfare agents. Their report appears in ACS' journal Biochemistry.

Frank Raushel, David Barondeau and colleagues explain that a soil bacterium makes a protein called phosphotriesterase (PTE), which is an enzyme that detoxifies some pesticides and chemical warfare agents like sarin and tabun. PTE thus has potential uses in protecting soldiers and others. Natural PTE, however, works against only one of the two molecular forms of these chemical warfare agents, and it happens to be the less toxic form. The scientists thus set out to develop new versions of PTE that were more effective against the most toxic form.

To improve the enzyme's activity, Raushel and colleagues used an approach called "directed evolution." This technique imitates the way natural selection leads to improved forms of the biochemical substances in living things. In using directed evolution, the team made small random changes to the natural enzyme's chemical architecture and then tested resulting mutant enzymes for their ability to break down nerve agents. They isolated several mutants that fit the bill, including one that proved to be 15,000 times more effective than the natural enzyme.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ping-Chuan Tsai, Nicholas Fox, Andrew N. Bigley, Steven P. Harvey, David P. Barondeau, Frank M. Raushel. Enzymes for the Homeland Defense: Optimizing Phosphotriesterase for the Hydrolysis of Organophosphate Nerve Agents. Biochemistry, 2012; 120731143027000 DOI: 10.1021/bi300811t

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New substances 15,000 times more effective in destroying chemical warfare agents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120808121908.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, August 8). New substances 15,000 times more effective in destroying chemical warfare agents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120808121908.htm
American Chemical Society. "New substances 15,000 times more effective in destroying chemical warfare agents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120808121908.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins