Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenases: tunable oxidative biocatalysts


Pollution, accidents, and misinformation have earned the pharmaceutical and chemical industry a poor public reputation, despite their undisputable importance to society. Biotechnological advances hold the promise to enable a future of drastically reduced environmental impact and rigorously more efficient production routes at the same time. This is exemplified in the Baeyer–Villiger reaction, which offers a simple synthetic route to oxidize ketones to esters, but application is hampered by the requirement of hazardous and dangerous reagents. As an attractive alternative, flavin-containing Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) have been investigated for their potential as biocatalysts for a long time, and many variants have been characterized. After a general look at the state of biotechnology, we here summarize the literature on biochemical characterizations, mechanistic and structural investigations, as well as enzyme engineering efforts in BVMOs. With a focus on recent developments, we critically outline the advances toward tuning these enzymes suitable for industrial applications.

ACS Catalysis
Maximilian JLJ Fürst
Maximilian JLJ Fürst
Assistant Professor of Computational Protein Design

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