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Trends Biotechnol. 2003 Apr;21(4):170-7.

Practical issues in the application of oxygenases.

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  • 1Institute of Biotechnology, ETH Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland.


Oxygenases carry out the regio-, stereo- and chemoselective introduction of oxygen in a tremendous range of organic molecules. This versatility has already been exploited in several commercial processes. There are, however, many hurdles to further practical large-scale applications. Here, we review various issues in biocatalysis using these enzymes, such as screening strategies, overoxidation, uncoupling, substrate uptake, substrate toxicity, and oxygen mass transfer. By addressing these issues in a systematic way, the productivity of promising laboratory scale biotransformations involving oxygenases may be improved to levels that allow industry to realise the full commercial potential of these enzymes.

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