Cascading biocatalysis

Sabine Flitsch / University of Manchester

April 14, 2022, 3 - 4 pm CEST

Online live talk



Biocatalysis has become an important aspect of modern organic synthesis, both in academia and across the chemical and pharmaceutical sciences [1,2]. Its success has been largely due to a rapid expansion of the range of chemical reactions accessible, made possible by advanced tools for enzyme discovery and protein engineering. As the enzyme toolbox for biocatalysis has expanded, so has the potential for the construction of powerful enzyme cascades for efficient and selective synthesis of target molecules. The dramatic increase of biocatalysts that are now available can make design of enzyme cascades highly challenging, in particular to the non-expert.

In this talk, I will present the application of RetroBioCat [3], an intuitive and accessible tool for computer-aided design of biocatalytic cascades and its implementation in a number of de novo multistep biosynthetic sequences towards chiral amines and amino-polyols.[4]


[1] Bell, E.L.; Finnigan, W.; France, S.P.; Green, A.P.; Hayes, M.A.; Hepworth, L.J.; Lovelock, S.L.; Niikura, H.; Osuna, S.; Romero, E.; Ryan, K.S.; Turner, N.J.; Flitsch, S.L. Nature Reviews Methods Primers 2021, 1, 46

[2] Romero, E.; Jones, B.S.; Hogg, B.N.; Casamajo, A.R.; Hayes, M.A.; Flitsch, S.L.; Turner, N.J.; Schnepel, C.; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60(31), 16824

[3] Finnigan, W.; Hepworth, L.J.; Flitsch, S.L.; Turner, N.J.; Nature Catalysis 2021, 4, 98

[4] Mattey, A.P.; Ford, G.J.; Citoler, J.; Baldwin, C.; Marshall, J.R.; Palmer, R.B.; Thompson, M.; Turner, N.J.; Cosgrove, S.C.; Flitsch, S.L. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60(34), 18660

Sabine Flitsch

obtained a Diploma in Chemistry from the University of Muenster, Germany and a DPhil degree from Oxford University under the supervision of Sir J E Baldwin. She spent three years of postdoctoral studies with Professor H G Khorana at MIT before returning to the UK to pursue her academic career at the Universities of Exeter, Oxford, Edinburgh and now Manchester, where she has held a Chair in Chemical Biology since 2004.