The project A1 aims to improve enzyme efficacy in specific organic reactions by coordination of two orthogonal strategies: (i) embedding and tethering enzymes to microgels and (ii) reengineering enzyme structures. While in the first funding period the focus was on the lipase Candida anarctica lipase B, CaLB, to enable ester formation in aqueous dispersions, future emphasis aims also at an interdisciplinary tandem reaction in which the monooxygenase P450 BM3 is used to hydroxylate an aromatic halogen (e.g. iodobenzene) that can subsequently undergo C-O and C-C coupling catalysed by a copper scorpionate.
For the lipase, linkage to a microgel has been performed to minimize the water activity at the active site. For the monooxygenase the microgel generates a hydrophilic environment around the enzyme and at the same time links it closely to the copper scorpionate which is embedded in a hydrophobic environment. By this, a tandem reaction will be formed in which the two catalytic centers are brought into close distance but remain at the same time in their catalytically favorable environment.