Light-activated coenzyme biomimetics in oxidoreductases for photobiocatalysis

Fellow: ESR9
Home Institution: Wageningen University & Research – the Netherlands
Academic Secondment: Ruhr University Bochum – Germany


The research is set in biocatalysis, using oxidoreductase enzymes to catalyse key redox reactions leading to useful chiral building blocks for pharmaceuticals. The expensive nicotinamide cofactor required by oxidoreductases acts as an electron donor or acceptor by releasing or accepting a hydride in a one-step two electron transfer. The development of inexpensive synthetic nicotinamide coenzyme biomimetics (NCBs) has led to a major breakthrough for C=C bond reducing enzymes, and the PhD work will be dedicated to apply the same concept to other oxidoreductases. In addition to the lower cost, using light-activated NCBs could give access to non-natural redox reactions in these enzymes.