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Open Access Catalysts on Demand: Selective Oxidations by Laboratory-Evolved Cytochrome P450 BM3

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Efficient catalysts for selective oxidation of C–H bonds using atmospheric oxygen are highly desirable to decrease the economic and environmental costs associated with conventional oxidation processes. We have used methods of directed evolution to generate variants of bacterial cytochrome P450 BM3 that catalyze hydroxylation and epoxidation of a wide range of nonnative substrates. This fatty acid hydroxylase was converted to a propane monooxygenase (PMO) capable of hydroxylating propane at rates comparable to that of BM3 on its natural substrates. Variants along the PMO evolutionary lineage showed broadened substrate scope; these became the starting points for evolution of a wide array of enzymes that can hydroxylate and derivatize organic scaffolds. This work demonstrates how a single member of enzyme family is readily converted by evolution into a whole family of catalysts for organic synthesis.

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Keywords: BIOCATALYSIS; DRUG METABOLITE; EVOLUTION; OXIDATION; P450

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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