Turning bacterial cyclopropane synthase enzymes into biocatalysts for the green and sustainable manufacturing of chemicals and drugs

Daniele Castagnolo (primary)
Institute of Pharmaceutical Science
King’s College London
Sarah Barry (secondary)
King’s College London


The Nobel Prize 2018 in chemistry has been awarded to green chemists confirming the importance and urgency for the scientific community to move towards the development of sustainable processes for producing pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and other chemicals. This project aims to study unique bacterial enzymes, the cyclopropane fatty acid synthases (CFAS), responsible for the synthesis of mycolic acid in bacteria. A series of CFAS enzymes will be cloned, expressed, purified and eventually turned into biocatalysts for the sustainable manufacturing of drugs and chemicals. This project will develop new biocatalysts for challenging cyclopropanation biotransformations combining molecular biology, analytical and chemical approaches.


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Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
BiotechnologyChemical Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBioinformaticsBiophysicsChemistryMolecular Biology