This project aims to develop novel biocatalysts for the production of glycosides (NOVOSIDES). Glycosylated compounds have a wide range of applications, but very few enzymes are able to glycosylate small organic molecules cost-efficiently at the industrial scale. Therefore, glycosylation reactions catalysed by transglycosidases, glycoside phosphorylases and glycoside hydrolases will be explored in more detail. These enzymes catalyze the transfer a glycosyl group from a cheap and readily available donor substrate to a variety of acceptors. To exploit their full potential, the enzymes’ specificity and stability against high temperatures and the presence of organic co-solvents will be optimised by means of directed evolution.
A large and diverse collection of enzymes will first be established by screening in natural environments and by the mining of public (meta)genome databases. The enzyme collection will then be screened for activity on a variety of representative acceptors from different chemical classes. This will allow the identification of the most promising enzymes for optimisation through semi-rational and random mutagenesis. The high-throughput screening of natural and variant enzymes will be performed with newly developed fluorescent probes, that allow fast and accurate measurements of carbohydrate-active enzymes in a direct and non-destructive assay.
To achieve these ambitious goals, a complementary consortium of academia and industry has been formed that covers the whole range of required expertises. The economical potential of our technology will be demonstrated by the development and scale-up of selected glycosylation reactions at pilot-plant facilities. The produced glycosides will be actively marketed to potential end-users to promote the valorisation of the project’s results and to initiate future collaborations on novel target compounds.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project
9042 Desteldonk Gent