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The terminal step in the production of cocaine or other tropane related esters is thought to be the formation of the acyl ester via the action of an acyltransferase enzyme. In the case of cocaine, this acyltransferase utilizes the substrates methylecgonine and benzoyl Coenzyme A to produce cocaine and free CoA. I am working on the characterization of acyltransferases isolated from Erythroxylum coca (E. coca), under supervision of Dr. John D`Auria. Thus far, we isolated more than 8 BAHD acyltransferases from E.coca. My diploma thesis focused on the characterization of one of these acyltransferases that was identified to have cocaine synthase activity.
last updated on 2012-02-15