December 2022: Our group joined “COZYME” COST Action
Our group has joined the COST Action COZYME (COmputationally assisted design of enZYMEs, CA21162). The COST Action comprises a Pan-European collaborative network aimed at developing and implementing state-of-the-art computational tools for rapid enzyme improvement. Our group leader, prof. Francesco Mutti, has been appointed as one of the Management Committee members of the COST Action, thus representing the Netherlands. The COST Action is led by prof. Marco Fraaije from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Enzymes are essential for life, enabling the required biological chemistry to occur. Owing to their unparalleled chemical and eco-friendly properties, enzymes are also industrially relevant. For example, enzymes are applied in food and pharma, while they are also included in laundry detergents. Despite their staggering chemical potential, the industrial use of enzymes is lagging behind. This is mainly because enzymes do not tolerate the conditions of their potential applications. To exploit their industrial use, enzymes have to be improved to withstand these process conditions often with additional tuning of their activity. This is typically accomplished by directed-evolution, which is laborious because it requires the experimental screening of massive mutant libraries to find the desired variants. This has been addressed by the development of computational enzyme engineering tools that show great promise by harnessing the power of a computer to create and screen large virtual libraries or to predict beneficial mutations. This dramatically speeds up and improves the efficiency of a protein redesign campaign. The COZYME (COmputationally assisted design of enZYMEs) Action comprises a Pan-European collaborative network aimed at developing and implementing state-of-the-art computational tools for rapid enzyme improvement. This will solve a key bottleneck in biotechnology: the exploitation of industrially relevant enzymes. Specifically, the Action focuses on three issues:
- Improvement of generic enzyme properties such as stability and solubility;
- Optimization of catalytic properties e.g. activity and stereoselectivity;
- Advancement of experimental approaches to generate and evaluate computational predictions;
- Train young researchers in developing and utilizing computational tools.
Enzyme – Computational – Engineering – Biocatalysis
Links to the COST Action COZYME