• Open Access

LOVely enzymes – towards engineering light-controllable biocatalysts

Authors

  • Ulrich Krauss,

    1. Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Research Centre Juelich, D-52426-Juelich, Germany.
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  • Jeeyeon Lee,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, 414 Wartik Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
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  • Stephen J. Benkovic,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, 414 Wartik Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
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  • Karl-Erich Jaeger

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Research Centre Juelich, D-52426-Juelich, Germany.
      *E-mail karl-erich.jaeger@fz-juelich.de; Tel. (+49) 2461 61 3716; Fax (+49) 2461 61 2490.
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*E-mail karl-erich.jaeger@fz-juelich.de; Tel. (+49) 2461 61 3716; Fax (+49) 2461 61 2490.

Summary

Light control over enzyme function represents a novel and exciting field of biocatalysis research. Blue-light photoreceptors of the Light, Oxygen, Voltage (LOV) family have recently been investigated for their applicability as photoactive switches. We discuss here the primary photochemical events leading to light activation of LOV domains as well as the proposed signal propagation mechanism to the respective effector domain. Furthermore, we describe the construction of LOV fusions to different effector domains, namely a dihydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli and a lipase from Bacillus subtilis. Both fusion partners retained functionality, and alteration of enzyme activity by light was also demonstrated. Hence, it appears that fusion of LOV photoreceptors to functional enzyme target sites via appropriate linker structures may represent a straightforward strategy to design light controllable biocatalysts.

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