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Transition towards environment-friendly consumer products by co-creation of an oxidoreductase foundry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OXIPRO (Transition towards environment-friendly consumer products by co-creation of an oxidoreductase foundry)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2021-06-01 do 2022-11-30

An increasing number of European consumers are concerned about the state of the environment, and in particular about the carbon emissions. Eco-conscious consumers care mostly about commodities that make up our day-to-day life, like household detergents, cosmetics, food and clothes. This includes concerns about the environmental footprint of producing these goods, or their use. Enzymes are biodegradable molecular tools that have demonstrated a capacity to slash energy consumption and replace hazardous chemicals, while improving the quality of end-products. The overall aim of OXIPRO is to contribute to greener products by harnessing the power of enzymes, specifically oxidoreductases, using the most efficient computing and newest biotechnology. OXIPRO is supporting four target sectors, prioritizing the ones that eco-conscious consumers are most concerned about: detergents, textiles, cosmetics, and nutraceuticals.
The main achievements from work in eight distinct but interrelated work packages, are:
• Working group termed ‘The Enzyme Cluster’ has been established across four FNR-16 sister projects (OXIPRO - 101000607, FuturEnzyme - 101000327, EnXylaScope -101000831, RadicalZ - 101000560), resulting in several joints event, 3 collaborative newsletters and 2 joint publications
• A plan for exploitation of project’s results has been outlined, and an IPR task force team is set to follow up new IP generated and its protection
• Established the strategy for the computational platform, including formats and workflows to implement modular tools for in silico mining and engineering of enzymes
• New computational tool for bioprospecting based on machine learning and statistical models has been development and biocontainerized, leading to 2 publications of key results
• Algorithms and containerized molecular modeling approaches for extensive enzyme engineering have been used to provide a large list of >150 OXIPRO enzymes that will be explored for process compatible properties
• Two enzyme screening platforms have been established based on microfluidics and cell-free expression and verified functional expression of model oxidoreductases in these
• Exploring the underlying molecular mechanism that determines nicotinamide cofactor specificity in model enzymes using two complementary strategies
• Identification of host expression systems for key OXIPRO enzymes
• Strategies for enzyme-based processes are in place, including setting up of methodologies for characterization of enzymes and products, with the result that proof-of-concept studies are established for most innovation cases using OXIPRO enzymes
• Date collection and literature search for preliminary sustainability evaluation of the OXIPRO case studies have begun
• Communication and dissemination strategy, including launch of media platforms and website, producing an explanatory video and materials for dissemination, and publication of key results in 4 open-access scientific journals
OXIPRO will provide new sustainable and efficient production processes for consumer goods that will benefit not only the environment, but also consumers, industry, researchers, and society in general. To achieve these impacts, OXIPRO undertakes an integrated approach was followed that involved the entire chain from enzyme discovery, development and production to scalable applications. In addition, OXIPRO is developing a collaborative interdisciplinary ecosystem and aligns to the Responsible Research and Innovation framework, which is fostering industrial implementation of OXIPRO’s solution. In the four case studies that are co-developed in OXIPRO, proofs of concept using new enzyme technologies have been successfully demonstrated. The computational approaches in OXIPRO propels the generating of new enzyme variants that are designed for increased process compatibility, and screening capacity is increased by the availability of two medium-to-high capacity platforms that combine heterologous expression and assaying. Altogether, this speeds up the iterative process of validating candidates in the lab and assessing their compatibility to the process, and returning the results to the computational workflow. An efficient oxidoreductase production, facilitated by microbial fermentation technologies, is used to supply sufficient amounts of enzyme for applications tests and for gathering data for modeling a scalable production system for future industrial applications. By assessing the sustainability, and safety of products in parallel, OXIPRO is fit to make clever decisions to succeed with the implementation of enzymes in environment-friendly processes and products.
A schematic overview of an enzyme carrying out a reaction. Image: Biochemistry 2023, 62, 2, 429-436