The Bridging Projects provide the enzymological experience and knowledge that is essential for developing a general strategy for functional assignment.
The five Bridging Projects focus on functionally diverse superfamilies (EN, GST, HAD, IS, AH) that span four of the six reaction classes defined by the Enzyme Nomenclature Classification System (E.C.) and four fold classes. The superfamilies range in size from ~10,000 - 80,000 members and differ in domain organization and architecture, catalytic strategies, and metal requirements. During the first three and a half years of EFI, target selection was limited to these five superfamilies. Moving forward, the EFI has shifted its focus to functional discovery that is driven by the solute binding protein (SBP) components of transport systems and by novel pathways that are unique to the human gut microbiota (with an interest in both microbe-microbe and microbe-host syntrophy). Of the remaining three Bridging Projects, two (EN and HAD) will provide experimental support and expertise for verification of functional discovery, while the third (IS) will remain an experimental platform for verification of computer-aided enzyme product predictions.
New in the fifth year of the EFI, the Anaerobic Enzymology (AE) pilot project will attempt functional discovery in the Radical SAM and Glycyl Radical Enzyme superfamilies, while taking advantage of a state-of-the-art anaerobic protein production and crystallization facility recently built at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.