Enantiomeric perplexcess

syrb2v1 from Mary O'Reilly on Vimeo.


The last video I posted described antibiotic resistance and the proliferation of antibiotic-resistance bacteria, and is the first in a series of three animations that accompany a video describing a post doc's work on a threonine halogenating enzyme. This animation is the third in the series, so the bomb at the end won't make sense until the second one is complete. Once threonine is halogenated, it gets incorporated into an antibiotic via a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase. The electronegativity of the chlorine activates the adjacent carbon and it is thought that this enhanced reactivity plays a role in the toxicity of the molecule. That is why the carbon is blinking. Subtle, I know. But the only real hiccup I had with this animation so far was when I realized that I had drawn the enantiomer of threonine in my prototype. Not even just a diastereomer, no, the complete enantiomer. My students would be so disappointed if they knew.