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Until recently, scientists thought that these metals could not have a catalytic role in biology. However, we know now that this is not true.  We have recently discovered that lanthanides can not only enhance catalytic efficiency, but that their usage may be wide-spread in nature.

We have characterized XoxF and identified an ethanol dehydrogenase that we named ExaF. This is the most efficient ethanol dehydrogenase of its kind described yet (Good et al. 2019 and 2016). We are currently focused in defining kinetic, structural and functional analysis of XoxF and ExaF using deep mutational scanning. These results will allow us to define chemical properties and tradeoffs in terms of substrate ambiguity and lanthanide specificity.

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