Vol.1, No.3, 37-38 (2013) Advances in Enzyme Research
Letter to the editor
Victor M. Bolanos-Garcia
Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England;
E-mail: vbolanos-garcia@brookes.ac.uk
Received 22 May 2013; revised 1 August 2013; accepted 9 August 2013
Copyright © 2013 Victor M. Bolanos-Garcia. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Li-
cense, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
It was exactly 180 years ago, when Anselme Payen, a
French chemist, discovered the first enzyme, diastase,
(nowadays amylase) and 136 years since Wilhelm Kühne
first coined the term enzyme. History tells us that it was
until 1926 when James B. Sumner purified and crystal-
lised the enzyme urease; few years later, Northrop and
Stanley achieved similar results for the digestive en-
zymes pepsin, trypsin and chymotrypsin and provided
irrefutable evidence that pure proteins can be active en-
zymes. The discovery that enzymes could be crystallised
eventually allowed the first structure of a protein en-
zyme, lysozyme, to be solved by X-ray crystallography
by David Chilton Phillips and collaborators. This high-
resolution structure of lysozyme marked the beginning of
the field of structural biology and the effort to understand
how enzymes work at an atomic level of detail.
These are heady days for those who study enzymes
from different standpoints. New genomes are being se-
quenced, the gene expression products identified and the
structures solved at an astonishing pace. Also, rapid ad-
vances in biophysical, biochemical, computational, cell
and molecular biology techniques have made possible a
deeper understanding into the biological roles played by
enzymes in health and disease. The choice of the title,
Advances in Enzyme Research (AER) reflects both the
consolidation of our subject and the recognition of fasci-
nating advances in the Biological and Biomedical Sci-
ences. For instance, the development of new technolo-
gies such as high-throughput strategies for the study of
genomes, definition of structures at atomic resolution
and their use for the development of novel drugs, me-
tabolomics and systems biology among other advances
have fuelled an exponential growth in the study of en-
zymes. A range of biophysical techniques such as iso-
thermal titration calorimetry, analytical ultracentrifuge-
tion, surface plasmon resonance, circular dichroism and
mass spectrometry have made possible the fine charac-
terisation of molecular interactions underpinning enzyme
function. Powerful molecular simulation techniques have
allowed data to be brought together to model the dynam-
ics of enzyme function and structure in space and time. It
is clear that in the coming years the study of enzymes
such as protein kinases, phosphatases, DNA polymerases
and ribozymes will continue to provide insights on dis-
ease mechanisms and therefore, will remain a central
aspect of cell function and regulation, medicinal chemis-
try, drug design and enzyme engineering. Single-mo-
lecule techniques like atomic force microscopy, voltage
and patch clamp, optical tweezers and FRET have per-
mitted the study of protein-protein and protein-ligand
interactions in individual systems to an unprecedented
level of detail and yet, many aspects of enzyme research
remains challenging: the molecular understanding of
protein-folding and the underlying thermodynamics and
kinetics of the process; molecular details of the stability
of proteins in extreme environments and the use of
modified enzymes for energy production, food security
and industrial biotechnology processes.
In this exciting era of fast-moving advances in re-
search and technology, it is our desire that Advances in
Enzyme Research (AER) will allow the readers to keep
abreast of the most recent developments in the field. The
original provisional division of topics into analytical
themes provides a robust framework to identify topical
areas. Also, the widespread concern about the appropri-
ate assessment of scientific research, lately expressed in
the form of The San Francisco Declaration on Research
Assessment (DORA), represents a valuable opportunity
for AER: a rigorous peer-review process of full report,
short paper and book reviews should ensure that Ad-
vances in Enzyme Research (AER) will soon become an
obligated reference in the vast field of enzymology and
that misused metrics such as journal’s impact factors
cease to be an unnecessary hurdle for assessing the qual-
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS
V. M. Bolanos-Garcia / Advances in Enzyme Research 1 (2013) 37-38
ity and relevance of newer, more specialized journals.
Therefore, maintaining Advances in Enzyme Research
(AER) as an openly accessible journal is very important
to provide an effective platform for the world-wide com-
munity of scientists, industry experts and academics in
which new developments on enzyme research can be
promoted, shared, and discussed. The commissioning of
special issues on carefully selected topics to guest editors
may deserve some consideration as it may bring new
ideas and fresh approaches and contribute to consolidate
the reputation of the journal.
I look forward to seeing the visibility and influence of
our journal growing over the coming years!
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OPEN ACCESS