Exploring the Biocatalytic Potential of a Self‐Sufficient Cytochrome P450 from Thermothelomyces thermophila


Among nature’s arsenal of oxidative enzymes, cytochrome P450s (CYPs) catalyze the most challenging reactions, the hydroxylations of non-activated C−H bonds. Human CYPs are studied in drug development due to their physiological role at the forefront of metabolic detoxification, but their challenging handling makes them unsuitable for application. CYPs have a great potential for biocatalysis, but often lack appropriate features such as high and soluble expression, self-sufficient internal electron transport, high stability, and an engineerable substrate scope. We have probed these characteristics for a recently described CYP that originates from the thermophilic fungus Thermothelomyces thermophila (CYP505A30), a homolog of the well-known P450-BM3 from Bacillus megaterium. CYP505A30 is a natural monooxygenase-reductase fusion, is well expressed, and moderately tolerant towards temperature and solvent exposure. Although overall comparable, we found the stability of the enzyme’s domains to be inverse to P450-BM3, with a more stable reductase compared to the heme domain. After analysis of a homology model, we created mutants of the enzyme based on literature data for P450-BM3. We then probed the enzyme variants in bioconversions using a panel of active pharmaceutical ingredients, and activities were detected for a number of structurally diverse compounds. Ibuprofen was biooxidized in a preparative scale whole cell bioconversion to 1-, 2- and 3-hydroxyibuprofen.

Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis
Maximilian JLJ Fürst
Maximilian JLJ Fürst
Assistant Professor of Computational Protein Design

I research computational protein design and high-throughput protein engineering.