Plant nitrilase is an important enzyme in the nitrilase superfamily. Studies on plant nitrilases in its early days mainly focused on their potential in converting IAN into IAA, which is important in promoting elongation growth of plants. However, the function of nitrilases in plant auxin biosynthesis is still unclear. The first plant nitrilase that hydrolyzed IAN to IAA in barley, was described by Thimann in 1964. Furthermore, several plant species were reported to contain various nitrile compounds, indicating that nitrilases widely exist in plants.
The superficial understanding on the protein structure and catalytic properties of nitrilase is the main barrier for molecular manipulation, such as rational design. Therefore, the determination of the exact protein structure, and the catalytic mechanism of nitrilase comes into prominence, with the rising requirement for molecular operations. 2b1af7f3a8