Research team BIOCAT - BIOCATalysis

Leader : Christine Hélaine, Associated Professor

Research topics

Biocatalysis in organic synthesis for chiral molecules preparation of biological interest. Enzymes are natural biocatalysts highly selectives and efficient. The chemo- regio- and stereoselectivity of biocatalysed reactions leads to environmental friendly process developments. They answer to several green chemistry principles : shortened syntheses, reduced organic solvents volumes, reduced energetic costs and enzymes are naturally biodegradables. Our aim integrates specificity studies and utilisation of synthetic potential of the enzymes produced from recombinant strains. Improvement and modulation of the enzymatic tools as well as exploration of new catalytic activities (mutagenesis or bank genome screening) are developped in collaboration with Genoscope (Evry, France) and several european laboratories.

Our work is focused on two main themes:
  • Enzymatic Transamination for non natural amino acid preparation. Aminotransferases (AT) in synthesis offer today a large number of possibilities to access to a broad diversity of chiral amines including alpha or beta aminoacids starting from carbonyl derivatives.
  • C-C bond formation for chiral polyols preparation. Aldolases and transketolases are key enzymes of the glucidic metabolism. They stereoselectively catalyse a C-C bond formation, generally an addition reaction between a carbonyl donor substrate and an aldehyde acceptor substrate. These enzymes are useful tools for structurally diversified chiral polyols preparation. Our projects in this field concern aldolase and transketolase applications for the synthesis of chiral polyols, design and search of new catalytic activities as well as enzyme immobilization.



Name Level Financial Support Dates
Juliane Abdoul Zabar PhD student ANR October 2010 - January 2014
Nadia Touisni* PhD student BDI CNRS October 2010 - December 2013
Egon Heuson PhD student MESR October 2012 - December 2015
Rima Mahdi* PhD student Région Auvergne October 2012 - December 2015
Marion Lorillière PhD student ANR September 2014 - December 2017
Victor Laurent PhD student MESR October 2016 - ...
Israël Sanchez Moreno Post-doc Région Auvergne December 2010 - December 2012
Isabelle Sorel Post-doc ANR September 2010 - March 2013
Thomas Moreau* Post-doc ANR January 2013 - January 2014
Ghina Ali* Post-doc ANR February 2014 - January 2015
Matilte Halma* Post-doc ANR February 2015 - June 2017
Felipe Bruna Gonzalez* Post-doc ANR October 2015 - December 2016
Romain Dumoulin Post-doc ANR October 2015 - June 2017
Mélanie L’enfant Post-doc FRI Cluster September 2017 - ...

* 50% team MI (group HDL)


Organic and analytical synthesis, micro-organisms culture, enzyme production, enzyme kinetics, inhibition studies, automatised or non-automatised enzymatic screening tests, analytical chemistry.

Programs and grants

2013- 2018 : ANR Blanc Franco-allemand, Thermo TK Ingénierie d’une transcétolase thermostable par évolution dirigée : nouvelle stréosélectivité, nouvelle spécificité de substrat, nouveau champ d’application Porteur : L. Hecquet

2017-2019 : FRI Laboratoire (Région/BPI) « Des enzymes pour la chimie verte : production de polyols par voie biocatalytique » Porteur : L. Hecquet

2018-2021 : Pack Ambition Recherche (Région AURA), VALCOUPENZ, « Valorisation d’huiles végétales par coupure enzymatique » Partenaire : L. Hecquet

2018-2021 : H2020 - European Research Area (ERA), Programme ERA CoBioTech, TRALAMINOL. Partenaire : L. Hecquet

Academic and industrial partnerships

National academies

Partners Collaborator(s) Topic
Team MI (ICCF) C. Forano, C. Mousty, V. Prévot Enzyme immobilization and development of biosensors
Genoscope (Evry) P. Marlière, M. Bouzon, M. Salanoubat, V. De Berardinis Mining genomes for new catalytic activities development of new catalytic activities (mutagenesis, metagenomic banks)
ISM (Bordeaux) M. Pucheault Nanostructured catalysts in Unconventional Systems
EA 2633 (Orléans) W. Même Herbicide and neurotoxicity. Impact of chronical ingestion of ammonium glufosinate on central nervous system activity

Internationales academies

Partners Collaborator(s) Topic
Univ. de Pharmacie de Copenhague L. Bunch Evaluation of glutamate analogues on central nervous system receptors
Université de Stuttgart G. Sprenger Overexpression and mutagenesis modification of fructose-6-phosphate aldolase
Université de Darmstadt W. Fessner TK substrate specifity modification
Université de Bratislava A. Lasikova Enzymatic synthesis of chiral precursors
Université de Barcelone P.Clapes Studies of fructose-6-phosphate aldolase substrate specificities
Madrid University E. Garcia-Junceda Synthesis of aminocyclitols

Industrial partners

Partners Collaborator(s) Topic
Greentech (Saint Beauzire) J.Y. Berthon, L. Rios Synthesis of neutraceutical compounds
Metabolic Explorer (Saint Beauzire) G. Bestel-Corre, R. Figge Synthesis of chiral synthons
Glycoteam, Hamburg (Allemagne) G. Thimm, E. Wieczorek Enzymtatic synthesis of phosphorylated sugars
Biorebus (Paris) L. Schwartz Xylulose-5-phosphate analogues syntheses
Sigma-Aldrich R. Wohlgemuth Synthesis of monophosphorylated sugars
Rhodia(Bordeaux) F. Sarrazin Development of microfluidic reactors