APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Biofuel production
- Pulp and paper processing
- Waste management
- Water treatment
- Pesticide cleanup
- Increased pH and temperature stability
- Expanded functionality compared to competitors
Lignin is a rich and renewable source of aromatic compounds used as a carbon source for engineered fuels and chemical synthesis hosts or directly converted to fuels and high value chemicals. A team of researchers at the Berkeley Lab’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) has developed a versatile plant-fungal hybrid peroxidase enzyme with a highly stable pH and temperature more effectively degrade and convert lignin than current methods.
The enzyme is engineered from Roystonea regia peroxidase (RPTP), removing its catalytic components and replacing them with the catalytic components of a high redox potential fungal versatile peroxidase (VP) from Pleurotus ostreatus. Functional mutations were introduced to complete the high redox pathways, and auxiliary mutations were required to minimize suspected steric hindrances. For more details, see the researchers’ 2018 publication in Cell Press (to be linked).
The resulting engineered enzyme, VP2.0, does not exist in nature. In fact, by combining properties of two native peroxidases, a peroxidase with an expanded functionality and greater application is achieved.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.