In 2018, three scientists shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Frances H. Arnold, “for the directed evolution of enzymes”; George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter, “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies”. All authors are associated with the development of methods for obtaining the useful proteins and peptides, which are based on imitation of the natural “method” of biological evolution, namely, on a combination of random variability and nonrandom selection. In this review, we consider modern methods for designing engineering polymerases, which determine the progress in the enzymatic synthesis and evolution of unnatural nucleic acids. The development of these methods provides an opportunity to obtain and study a huge set of new biopolymers inaccessible to nature, as well as various ligands, catalysts, and materials based thereon.
- compartmentalized self-replication
- directed evolution of polymerases
- new enzymes
- phage display
- rational design