Enzyme engineering with an organophosphate degrading enzyme

OPDA is a bacterial enzyme that shows considerable utility in bioremediation. In the last few years we have obtained the structure of OPDA using directed evolution to improve its expression in E. coli. We have also been involved in studies to better understand the mechanism of the protein and to this end we have solved the structure of the protein in the presence of its reaction product along with a slow turnover substrate. These structures give clear indications as to how the substrate binds to the proteins and how the attacking water is activated within the active site.