The 1958 Nobel prize to Beadle and Tatum for proposing that each gene is responsible for a distinct enzyme is now seen as both foundational to molecular biology and genetics, albeit oversimplified. Some genes, for example, code for functional RNAs, while others code for non-enzymatic proteins such as collagen. Yet enzymes remain fundamental to life on earth, catalyzing at least 5000 biochemical reactions (so far identified). Enzymes can increase reaction rates by huge factors, from millions of years to milliseconds per event, so that, from meat tenderizer to washing powder, to muscle contraction, cargo transport in the cell, ion pumps, infection and digestion, no molecular machine is more fundamental to biological function than the enzyme.
Spence, J., & Lattman, E. (2016). Imaging enzyme kinetics at atomic resolution. IUCrJ, 3(4), 228-229. doi:10.1107/s2052252516010204
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