Research Topic

Illuminating Biocatalysis: Using the Power of Light to drive or regulate Enzymatic Reactions

About this Research Topic

Fueled by the tremendous progress of molecular biology, bioinformatics, synthetic biology and process intensification, biocatalysis has emerged as a widely used technique in the chemical, biofuel, food and feed, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. A large series of successful examples underlines that biocatalysis can improve the sustainability of chemical processes and thus complements other catalytic technologies very successfully. Current processes for the production of chemicals require material-, energy-, time- and space intensive isolation and purification of reaction intermediates, which causes significant waste generation. Hence, cleaner processes must be established by integrating production steps in compliance with sustainability criteria. Nature uses an elegant and efficient strategy to use light – an attractive natural agent – as energy source and to convert it into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities. Thus, it is not surprising that light has received particular attention for driving or even regulating biocatalytic reactions and thus, manifold concepts for the utilization of light in enzyme-catalyzed reactions have been developed. In recent years, the immense advancement in the field of photobiocatalysis has been fueled by the fast development of enzyme discovery, photocatalysis, chemo/enzyme hybrid catalysts, synthetic biology and electrochemistry. Moreover, various strategies have been developed to efficiently light-regulate enzyme activity using natural photoreceptors or optochemical tools that are promising for the application in biocatalysis.

This Research Topic aims to present the latest scientific advances on the design and biocatalytic application of light-driven and light-regulated enzymatic systems. We encourage the submission of original research articles, perspectives and reviews.

Themes of interest include, but are not limited to:

- Regulation of enzyme activity by light
- Cyanobacterial biotransformations
- Hybrid light-driven chemo/enzyme catalysts
- Photobiocatalytic cascade reactions
- Photobiocatalytic cofactor regeneration strategies
- Light-induced promiscuous enzyme activities
- Artificial photosynthesis platforms
- Photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) platforms coupled to redox biocatalysis
- Photobiocatalytic reactor concepts


Keywords: Enzymes, Photocatalysis, Biocatalysis, Redox reactions, Light


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Fueled by the tremendous progress of molecular biology, bioinformatics, synthetic biology and process intensification, biocatalysis has emerged as a widely used technique in the chemical, biofuel, food and feed, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. A large series of successful examples underlines that biocatalysis can improve the sustainability of chemical processes and thus complements other catalytic technologies very successfully. Current processes for the production of chemicals require material-, energy-, time- and space intensive isolation and purification of reaction intermediates, which causes significant waste generation. Hence, cleaner processes must be established by integrating production steps in compliance with sustainability criteria. Nature uses an elegant and efficient strategy to use light – an attractive natural agent – as energy source and to convert it into chemical energy that can later be released to fuel the organisms' activities. Thus, it is not surprising that light has received particular attention for driving or even regulating biocatalytic reactions and thus, manifold concepts for the utilization of light in enzyme-catalyzed reactions have been developed. In recent years, the immense advancement in the field of photobiocatalysis has been fueled by the fast development of enzyme discovery, photocatalysis, chemo/enzyme hybrid catalysts, synthetic biology and electrochemistry. Moreover, various strategies have been developed to efficiently light-regulate enzyme activity using natural photoreceptors or optochemical tools that are promising for the application in biocatalysis.

This Research Topic aims to present the latest scientific advances on the design and biocatalytic application of light-driven and light-regulated enzymatic systems. We encourage the submission of original research articles, perspectives and reviews.

Themes of interest include, but are not limited to:

- Regulation of enzyme activity by light
- Cyanobacterial biotransformations
- Hybrid light-driven chemo/enzyme catalysts
- Photobiocatalytic cascade reactions
- Photobiocatalytic cofactor regeneration strategies
- Light-induced promiscuous enzyme activities
- Artificial photosynthesis platforms
- Photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) platforms coupled to redox biocatalysis
- Photobiocatalytic reactor concepts


Keywords: Enzymes, Photocatalysis, Biocatalysis, Redox reactions, Light


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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