Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 121-135.doi: 10.1016/j.cjche.2020.12.002

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Self-sufficient Cytochrome P450s and their potential applications in biotechnology

Bekir Engin Eser1, Yan Zhang1, Li Zong1,2, Zheng Guo1   

  1. 1 Department of Engineering, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark;
    2 Key Laboratory for Molecular Enzymology and Engineering, The Ministry of Education, School of Life Science, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
  • Received:2020-10-14 Revised:2020-12-07 Online:2021-02-28 Published:2021-05-15
  • Contact: Zheng Guo
  • Supported by:
    Financial supports from Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF16OC0021740), Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond AUFFNOVA (AUFF-E-2015-FLS-9-12) and Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond (DFF Technology and Production, 0136-00206B) are greatly acknowledged.

Abstract: Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) are ubiquitously found in all kingdoms of life, playing important role in various biosynthetic pathways as well as degradative pathways; accordingly find applications in a vast variety of areas from organic synthesis and drug metabolite production to modification of biomaterials and bioremediation. Significantly, CYPs catalyze chemically challenging C—H and C—C activation reactions using a reactive high-valent iron-oxo intermediate generated upon dioxygen activation at their heme center, while the other oxygen atom is reduced to the level of water by electrons provided through a reductase partner protein. Self-sufficient CYPs, encoding their heme domain and reductase protein in a single polypeptide, facilitate increased catalytic efficiency and render a less complicated system to work with. The self-sufficient CYP enzyme from CYP102A family (CYP102A1, BM3) is among the earliest and most-investigated model enzymes for mechanistic and structural studies as well as for biotechnological applications. An increasing number of self-sufficient CYPs from the same CYP102 family and from other families have also been reported in last decade. In this review, we introduce chemistry and biology of CYPs, followed by an overview of the characteristics of self-sufficient CYPs and representative reactions. Enzyme engineering efforts leading to novel self-sufficient CYP variants that can catalyze synthetically useful natural and non-natural (nature-mimicking) reactions are highlighted. Lastly, the strategy and efforts that aim to circumvent the challenges for improved thermostability, regio-and enantioselectivity, and total turnover number; associated with practical use of self-sufficient CYPs are reviewed.

Key words: Biocatalysis, Heme enzymes, C—H activation, Cytochrome P450s, Self-sufficient P450s, P450 BM3