The alcohols serve as building blocks, or precursors, for molecules called carboxylic esters
, which impart fruity flavors.
The two genes are derived from a modified line of mouse immune-system cells that other Scripps researchers had developed to produce unusual, catalytic antibodies that not only bind to specific chemical targets called carboxylic esters
, but also chemically slice them in two (SN: 9/2/89, p.152).
The Scripps grou psynthesized compoundscalled phosphonates esters, which resemble the biologically vital structures called carboxylic esters
in their transition states as they undergo cleavage by water, or hydrolysis.