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Welcome to the homepage of the Weissenborn lab

Our motivation: Training and education of our group members and development of environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical syntheses and methods.

Weissenborn, Löw et al. ChemCatChem 2016, 8, 1636-1640
Weissenborn, Löw et al. ChemCatChem 2016, 8, 1636-1640

Enzymes are promiscuous. Promiscuity describes the catalysis of conversions of non-natural substrates and other than the wildtype reaction.

The enzymatic promiscuity is taken advantage of finding novel reactions using basic chemical knowledge. New reaction types being relevant for organic chemistry and chemical industry are developed in this manner. The catalysis of C-C bond formation is of particular interest.

A new E. coli host enzyme being capable of carbonyl olefination has been found in previous studies (Weissenborn, Löw et al. ChemCatChem 2016, 8, 1636 1640.). This reaction has not been shown in biocatalytic studies before and is of great importance for chemical industry. Moreover, the enzymatic activity has an enormous potential being an ecologically beneficial alternative to chemical synthesis.

Junior Research Group of the Leibniz Research Cluster

We are a member of the Leibniz Research Cluster, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), where five Junior Research Groups are developing micro production units. Enzyme cascades are applied in microfluidic systems for the synthesis of important active compounds. This highly interdisciplinary project involves groups from biotechnology as well as engineering science.
Our newly developed enzymes will be combined with various synthases, transferases and oxidases to produce plant-based natural products.

Our research can be divided into four topics:

i)    Analysis of promiscuity – search for new enzymatic reactions
(Divisions: Organic chemistry & biochemistry)

ii)    Biocatalytic characterization of novel enzymes
This research includes kinetic analysis, mechanistic studies, rational protein design and directed evolution.
(Divisions: Organic chemistry, biochemistry & biology)

iii)    Cell growth selection for directed evolution
The focus is set on modification of cells in a specific manner. This technique reduces the effort of screening huge libraries because only interesting candidates with at least moderate activity are investigated. Darwin’s concept ”Survival of the Fittest” is applied in the previously described carbonyl olefination in directed evolution approaches.   
(Divisions: Biochemistry & biology)

iv)    Enzymatic C-H-Hydroxylation
In addition to catalysis of C-C bond formation, enzymatic hydroxylation are of great chemical interest. We are looking for direct and selective one-step hydroxylation replacing complicated and harsh chemical syntheses.
(Divisions: Organic chemistry & biochemistry)

If you are interested and want to learn more about our research, click on “projects”. You can also contact us via E-Mail. We are open to talented and motivated trainees, Bachelor or Master students, PhD students and postdocs.

The Weissenborn Lab is a member of the

This page was last modified on 08.01.2019.

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