Gordon’s TrpB enzyme evolution published in Nature Communications

Congratulations to Gordon and our collaborators Ella Watkins-Dulaney, Patrick Almhjell, Christina Boville, and Frances Arnold for showing how OrthoRep-driven continuous replicate evolution of an enzyme called TrpB can generate extensive functional genetic variation that captures new promiscuous activity profiles. Promiscuity allows evolved variants to produce tryptophan analogs even though the variants were evolved under selection for only their primary tryptophan production activity. We are hopeful that we are starting to approach the depth and scale of protein evolution normally associated with nature, but now on laboratory timescales. This should have broad implications for protein engineering at large.