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Synergistic activities to boost enzymatic lignocellulose oxidation using light and LPMOs

Grant number: 18/22300-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2019 - May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Molecular Biophysics
Cooperation agreement: Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.- FNRS)
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Igor Polikarpov
Grantee:Igor Polikarpov
Principal investigator abroad: David Cannella
Institution abroad: Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Eduardo Ribeiro de Azevedo
Associated research grant:15/13684-0 - Structural and functional studies of enzymes that participate in complex carbohydrates synthesis and degradation, AP.TEM


The main challenge of the 21st century society in terms of energy, materials and chemicals is to diminish the dependence from fossil resources transitioning towards a Bio-based economy. Recently an efficient light-driven enzymatic system capable of oxidizing cellulose, which is the major fraction of the photosynthetically fixed carbon on Earth, has been reported. The system discovered is based on the ubiquitous enzymes termed lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO) that degrade plant cell wall carbohydrates, starch, and chitin found in all ecosystems and photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll, activated by light. One of the collateral effects of shining light on the reaction mixture is a generation of hydrogen peroxide, recently shown to be an efficient compound for accelerating LPMO activity. Within the scope of this proposal we plan to study the synergic effects in LPMO activities and cellulases to learn how they harness the light induced electron transfer and to evaluate the role of the parallel production of hydrogen peroxide to power redox enzymes for degradation of lignocellulosic substrates. We will also conduct molecular, biophysical and structural studies of poorly studied LPMOs. Furthermore, we plan to exploit the acquired knowledge for designing new degrading synergistic mixtures of cellulases and LPMOs aimed for plant biomass deplymerization. (AU)