Enhancing Nature's catalysts: new vitamins for enzymes


Enzymes, Nature's catalysts, are of prime interest for synthetic chemistry in industry to meet human needs such as fine chemicals (amino acids, vitamins) and pharmaceuticals. However, a vitamin B3 derivative, the nicotinamide cofactor, is necessary for enzymes that catalyse crucial reduction and oxidation (redox) reactions. This cofactor is expensive and unstable, and its requirement impedes larger up-scaling of enzymes. Improving enzymatic redox reactions with a better vitamin derivative would contribute to the state of the art in (bio)catalysis and their implementation in industrially relevant applications.

I aim at producing new and improved vitamin B3 derivatives to enhance redox enzymes. To achieve this goal, I propose to produce, for the first time, novel stable and specific nicotinamide cofactors for oxidoreductases to improve their activity. My ground-breaking research on biomimetic cofactors is challenging, and will involve chemical synthesis and molecular biology to understand and control the interaction between the cofactor and the enzyme structure. I will fully characterise and evaluate these innovative cofactors to promote biocatalytic redox reactions. Compared to the natural cofactors, these new biomimetics will be cheaper, exhibit higher stability and enable higher reaction rates and specificity, and will advance knowledge on enzyme mechanisms.

My vision is to improve the practical use of oxidoreductases, and thus White Biotechnology, with innovative nicotinamide cofactors. With this VENI grant, I will be able to directly apply my expertise in cofactor analogues and biocatalysis to design and produce unique cofactor biomimetics that are more stable, efficient, and used by a variety of oxidoreductases. My approach on new biomimetics will result in industrial applications to perform cleaner and more efficient redox reactions.





Dr. C.E. Paul

Verbonden aan

Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculteit Technische Natuurwetenschappen, Biotechnologie


Dr. C.E. Paul, Dr. C.E. Paul, Dr. C.E. Paul


15/01/2016 tot 15/01/2019