Kevin D. Walker
Research Interests continued
Paclitaxel (Taxol) Pathway Enzymes.
Further studies include investigating the substrate selectivity and kinetics of mutant forms of PAM, assessing the cryptic mechanism that yields product stereochemistry, surveying binding isotope effects, and conducting structure/function assignments based on homology and X-ray crystallographic data.
Taxus Acyltransferases (AT) of the BAHD Superfamily:
Foreseeably, we will extend our investigation to evaluate the specificity of BAHD acyltransferases from other plants on novel aminated and hydroxylated surrogate substrates. Our current evaluation of a small set of Taxol pathway enzymes demonstrates that a broad survey of biocatalysts on any biosynthetic pathway is generally necessary to reveal their specificity and potential application to make product analogues.