[Osami Shoji] Direct conversion of methane to methanol using a malfunction state of biocatalysts

Research Director

Osami Shoji

Osami Shoji

Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University
Associate Professor


This research will promote a development of biocatalytic system that can convert methane to methanol using a malfunction state of cytochrome P450BM3 (P450BM3). P450BM3 efficiently catalyzes the hydroxylation of long-alkyl-chain fatty acids, but its substrate specificity is very high and thus wild-type P450BM3 never catalyzes hydroxylation of gaseous alkanes. We have demonstrated that even wild-type P450BM3 can catalyze the hydroxylation of gaseous alkanes such as ethane and propane as well as benzene by the addition perfluorinated carboxylic acids as decoy molecules. Recently, we have demonstrated that N-perfluoroacyl amino acids strongly activate wild-type P450BM3 for the hydroxylation of inert alkanes. Furthermore, we have succeeded in the crystal structure analysis of P450BM3 with N-perfluoroacyl amino acids. The binding of decoy molecule reforms the active site pocket to allow the accommodation of small substrates and simultaneously influences the formation of active species of P450BM3. In this research, we will construct P450BM3-decoy molecules system that can directly convert methane to methanol, based on the crystal structure analysis of P450BM3 with decoy molecules.

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