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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2008 Apr;12(2):177-86. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.01.029. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Heme-iron oxygenases: powerful industrial biocatalysts?

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  • 1Laboratory of Chemical Biotechnology, Faculty of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering, TU Dortmund, Emil-Figge-Strasse 66, D-44221 Dortmund, Germany.


Are cytochrome P450 enzymes powerful industrial biocatalysts? Next to market demands, well-defined enzyme functionalities and process parameters allow generalizations on the basis of process windows. These can provide useful guidelines for the design of improved biocatalysts. Oxygenase-catalyzed reactions are of special interest for selective C-H bond oxidation. The versatile class of cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases attracts particular attention, and impressive advances have been achieved with respect to mechanistic insight, enzyme activity, stability, and specificity. Recent major achievements include significant increases in productivities, yields, and rates of catalytic turnover as well as modification of substrate specificity and efficient multistep reactions in whole-cell biocatalysts. For some biocatalysts, these parameters are already of an industrially useful magnitude.

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