Dr. Livnat Jurnou

Dr. Livnat Jurnou
ד"ר ליבנת גו'רנו
Accordion Title Areas of Interest

Areas of Interest

We are interested in understanding how enzymes evolve new function and biochemical traits, how are they adopted to their environment. We use protein engineering and directed enzyme evolution to improve enzymes.

Accordion Title Biographical Info

Biographical Info

Dr. Afriat-Jurnou leads the group of Enzyme Evolution in MIGAL-Galilee Research Institute, and teaches at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology in Tel-Hai College, Israel, since 2017. She did her bachelor degree in Chemistry and Biology in Tel-Aviv University, then moved to the Weizmann Institute of Science for her MSc and PhD studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, under the guidance of Prof. Dan S. Tawfik, studying the molecular mechanisms involved in enzyme evolution. After that, she continued in the field during her postdoctoral studies at the Australian National University, Canberra, with Prof. Colin Jackson. In her work, she uses directed enzyme evolution and protein engineering towards the understanding of the mechanisms involved in enzyme evolution, and design enzyme for various agriculture and environmental applications.

Accordion Title Research


My research interest focuses on the understanding of the mechanisms that govern enzymes function, towards harnessing their catalytic activity in one hand, and their inhibition on the other.  We are particularly interested in enzymes that attenuate virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria, serving as Quorum Quenching enzymes. We are also interested in designing enzymes that degrade man-made pollutants such as pesticides and plastic. In the lab, we use molecular biology, phylogenetic analysis for protein design as well as directed enzyme evolution to create tailor made enzymes with new properties for specific environmental, agricultural and industrial applications. 

Accordion Title Teaching


General Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Protein Structure and Function

Scientific writing

Accordion Title Publications


  1. Afriat L, Roodveldt C, Manco G, Tawfik DS. “The latent promiscuity of newly identified microbial lactonases is linked to recently diverged phosphotriesterase.” Biochemistry, 2006 Nov 21;45(46):13677-86.  JCR 5 year Impact Factor: 952, 130/289, Cited by 244.
  2. Jackson CJ, Foo JL, Tokuriki N, Afriat L, Carr PD, Kim HK, Schenk G, Tawfik DS, Ollis DL. “Conformational sampling, catalysis, and evolution of the bacterial phosphotriesterase.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2009 Dec 22;106(51):21631-6, JCR 5 year Impact Factor: 286, 4/63, Cited by 109.
  3. Afriat-Jurnou L, Jackson CJ, Tawfik DS. “Reconstructing a Missing Link in the Evolution of a Recently Diverged Phosphotriesterase by Active-Site Loop Remodeling.” Biochemistry, 2012 Aug 7;51(31):6047-55, JCR 5 year Impact Factor: 828,  130/289, Cited by 115.
  4. Tokuriki N, Jackson CJ, Jurnou-Afriat L, Tawfik DS, “Diminishing returns and tradeoffs constrain the laboratory optimization of an enzyme.” Nature communication, 2012 Dec 4;3:1257, JCR 5 year Impact Factor: 001, 3/63, Cited by 152.
  5. Ahmed FHCarr PDLee BMAfriat-Jurnou LMohamed AEHong NSFlanagan JTaylor MCGreening CJackson CJ. "Sequence-Structure-Function Classification of a Catalytically Diverse Oxidoreductase Superfamily in Mycobacteria." J Mol Biol., 2015, Nov; 427(22):3554-71, JCR 5 year Impact Factor: 393, 62/289, Cited by 51.
  6. Campbell E, Kaltenbach M, Correy GJ, Carr PD, Porebski BT, Livingstone EK, Afriat-Jurnou L, Buckle AM, Weik M, Hollfelder F, Tokuriki N, Jackson CJ. "The role of protein dynamics in the evolution of new enzyme function". Nature Chem Biol., 2016, Nov; 12(11):944-950, JCR 5 year Impact Factor: 402, 9/289, Cited by 119.
  7. Afriat-Jurnou L, Cohen R,  Paluy I, Ben-adiva R, Yadid I. "Directed evolution of an endoinulinase from Talaromyces purpureogenus toward efficient production of inulooligosaccharides", Biotechnology Progress, 2018 Feb, doi:10.1002/btpr, Cited by 3.
  8. Prabahar V, Afriat-Jurnou L, Paluy I, Peleg Y, Noy D. "New homologues of Brassicaceae water-soluble chlorophyll proteins shed light on chlorophyll binding, spectral tuning, and molecular evolution". FEBS J., 2019 Sep, doi: 10.1111/febs. JCR 5 year Impact Factor: 739Cited by 2.
  9. Lee B.M, Almeida D.V., Afriat-Jurnou L, Aung H.L., Forde B.M., Hards K., Pidot S.J, Ahmed H.F., A.,  Mohamed E., Taylor M.C.,  West N.P, Stinear T.P., Greening C., Beatson S.A., Cook G.M., Nuermberger E.L.,  Jackson C.J. "Predicting nitroimidazole antibiotic resistance mutations in Mycobacterium tuberculosis with protein engineering". PLOS pathogen  2020 Feb.  2018/2019 Impact Factor: 6.46Cited by 2.
  10. Gurevich, DorS., ErovM., DanY., MoyJ.C., MairesseO., Dafny-YelinM., Adler-Abramovich L., Afriat-Jurnou L. "Directed Enzyme Evolution and Encapsulation of Quorum Quenching Lactonase in Peptide Nano Spheres as an Antibacterial Treatment against Plant Pathogens". Applied Materials and Interfaces2021 Jan. Impact Factor 8.45.
  11. Ya'ar-Bar S. Dor S., Cohen E., Afriat-Jurnou L. " The identification of putative N-acyl homoserine lactonases in Plant pathogenic Erwinia species, and the characterization ofa quorum quenching lactonase from amylovora the causal of fire blight disease". ACS Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Impact Factor 4.19
  12. Tohar R , Ansbacher T, Sher I , Afriat-Jurnou L, Weinbergand E, Gal M. "Screening Collagenase Activity in Bacterial Lysate for Directed Enzyme Applications". Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021. Impact Factor 5.923, Q1
  13. *Dor S, Prusky D , Afriat-Jurnou L. " Bacterial Quorum Quenching lactonase Hydrolyses Fungal Mycotoxin and Reduces Pathogenicity of expansum-Suggesting a Mechanism of Bacterial Antagonism". Journal of Fungi, 2021. Impact Factor 5.816, Q1 Rank 94/629.
  14. Haramati R, Dor S, Gurevich D, Levy D, Freund D, Rytwo G, Sharon I, Afriat-Jurnou L. "Mining marine metagenomes reveals a Quorum Quenching lactonase with unique biochemical properties that inhibits milk spoilage caused by Pseudomonas fluorescens". Accepted to Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2021, Impact Factor 4.792, Q1.
Accordion Title Dr. Livnat Jurnou CV

Dr. Livnat Jurnou CV