Rational engineering lipases for industrial applications
Green chemistry addresses environmental problem caused by use of chemical solvent and reagents in chemical processes such as production of fuels and pharmaceuticals. Use of enzymes as biocatalysts experienced a period of rapid growth in the past decades. However, our ability to exploit biocatalysts in green chemistry is hampered by lack of understanding of the enzymatic catalysis mechanism. In this project, a rational protein engineering approach combining computational study of enzymatic mechanism and genetic technique of directed evolution will be developed and tested on Candida antarctica Lipase B (CALB), with the aim to increase the thermostability, activity and selectivity of the enzyme and to make the laboratory evolution process more efficient. CALB is the most applied industrial lipase, with its biggest industry of the enzyme in Novozymes, in Denmark. The ECR fellow will work on an interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral project, in close collaboration with computational chemists and molecular biologists from, Zhejiang University, China and the Department of Biocatalysis and Isotope Chemistry, Almac.