Optimized oxidative enzyme systems for efficient conversion of lignocellulose to valuable products.

Highlights 2021

OXYMOD aims at discovering, understanding and applying redox enzyme systems for the conversion of biomass such as lignocellulose into valuable products.

OXYMOD combines life sciences (enzyme technology, microbial biotechnology, high throughput screening, advanced analytics), bioinformatics (big data, enzyme systems modelling, process modelling) and engineering (enzyme evolution, synthetic biology) for developing novel biocatalytic systems.

During 2021, our research focused on in-depth analysis of previously discovered and characterized redox enzymes, to understand how they work and how they work together. We focus on the oxidants used, the role of redox mediators and enzyme (oxidative) stability. For example, we use advanced NMR and circular dichroism techniques to study the stability of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs). Thus, we are moving towards systems analysis of enzymes involved in biomass conversion. The key enzymes under study are laccases and peroxidases, acting on lignin, and LPMOs, acting on cellulose.

Highlights of 2021 are several publications co-authored by multiple partners, including papers on the discovery and functional characterization of a new LPMO and a new peroxidase and a paper describing remarkable findings on the role and faith of a commonly used reductant in LPMO reactions, ascorbic acid. Great progress has been made in developing NMR and mass-spectrometry based methods for analysing lignin and enzyme-generated lignin derived products.

The project’s RRI work has resulted in a PhD thesis that will be defended in 2022. Being part of a transdisciplinary project and centre gives necessary access to techniques from different knowledge domains. The Centre ensures inspiring interactions with other research groups and projects with complementary competences and transdisciplinary focus, e.g. during DLN organized events and workshops.

The project has multiple links to industries and the competence provided by DLN to promote innovation is very useful. Of note, technologies developed by OxyMod partners are already used in industrial settings.


Scientific Publications 2021: 6

Project overview

Project lead: Vincent Eijsink
Institution: NMBU
Partners: SINTEF, NTNU, New University of Lisbon, VECTRON BIOSOLUTIONS AS



Announcement of four recent publiucations in OxyMod (2020)

Biomass processing: Mechanistic aspects of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (2020)

Searching for a redox partner for bacterial lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (2020)
Camilla Demmene

Engineering lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) (2020)
Zarah Forsberg, Anton Stepnov, Guro Kruge Nærdal, Geir Klinkenberg, Vincent Eijsink

Molecular mechanism of the chitinolytic peroxygenase reaction (2020)
Bastien Bissaro, Bennett Streit, Ingvild Isaksen, Vincent Eijsink, Gregg T. Beckham, Jennifer DuBois, Åsmund Røhr Kjendseth

Mechanistic basis of substrate–O2 coupling within a chitin-active lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase: An integrated NMR/EPR study (2020)
Gaston Courtade, Luisa Ciano, Alessandro Paradisi, Peter J. Lindley, Zarah Forsberg, Morten Sørlie, Reinhard Wimmer, Gideon J. Davies, Vincent Eijsink, Paul H. Walton, Finn Lillelund Aachmann

Discovery and characterization of novel redox enzymes from Trondheim fjord's actinobacteria strain collection for lignocellulosic biomass degradation (2019)
Giang-Son Nguyen, Malene Jønsson, Priscilla C. Neeraas, Vincent Eijsink, Alexander Wentzel

Oxidative monocopper enzymes that accelerate glycoside hydrolase conversion of lignocellulosic biomass (2019)
Vincent Eijsink

Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) - unique mono-copper oxidases for biomass processing and more (2019)
Vincent Eijsink

Mechanism of the chitinolytic peroxygenase reaction (2019)
Åsmund Røhr Kjendseth

All results in the CRIStin-database

Research group

The OXYMOD project will through a transdisciplinary approach define, develop and demonstrate applicability of new enzyme systems for the efficient biocatalytic conversion of lignocellulose from abundant Norwegian biomass into valuable products like sugars and aromatic building blocks. OXYMOD will focus on the still largely underexplored group of redox enzymes and their potential in the depolymerisation of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, including aspects such as redox enzyme interplay, co-factors and reaction partners, as well as their interplay with hydrolytic enzymes. OXYMOD will address these enzymes and enzyme systems as they occur and function in, among others, a unique in-house collection of approx. 1000 marine Actinobacteria isolates with genomes recently sequenced.

Redox enzymes require co-factors and redox partners, and there is a considerable degree of cooperativity between different enzyme classes. Enzyme systems-scale understanding and eventually engineering the efficient degradation of lignocellulose by these enzyme systems, requires an integrated transdisciplinary approach far beyond 'simple' enzyme discovery.

OXYMOD combines life sciences (enzyme biochemistry, enzyme production technology, microbial biotechnology, high throughput screening, advanced analytics), ICT (bioinformatics, big data handling), mathematical sciences (enzyme systems modelling, process modelling) and engineering (enzyme evolution, synthetic biology) for producing new and optimized biocatalytic systems for industrial application, primarily within the agricultural and forest sectors.

Besides the enzymes and enzyme systems themselves, additional innovations from OXYMOD concern the generation of well-defined products streams, primarily sugars from (hemi-)cellulose and aromatic building blocks from lignin for a variety of downstream applications (e.g. biofuels & bioplastics).