Four academic institutes and two industrial partners from five European countries are involved in the Langherhans Cell Diabetes Reseach Network.
Our goal is the development of biocatalytic processes for the glycosylation of small organic molecules such as flavonoids, alkaloids and steroids.
Glycosylation can drastically improve both the physicochemical and biological properties of these molecules, but very few biocatalysts are currently available to perform this modification cost-efficiently at the industrial scale.
The glycosylation potential of transglycosidases, glycoside phosphorylases and glycoside hydrolases will now be explored in more detail. These enzymes catalyze the transfer a glycosyl group from cheap and readily available donor substrates (e.g. sucrose) to different acceptor molecules. To maximize their performance, the enzymes’ specificity and stability will be engineered by means of directed evolution, using novel fluorescent probes as tools for high-throughput screening. The reactions will then be optimised and scaled-up at pilot plant facilities to allow the commercial exploitation of the glycosylated products.