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Nitrilases catalyze the hydrolysis of nitrile derivatives into the corresponding carboxylic acids.
We have built a large collection of nitrilases and have cross-tested enzymatic biodiversity against substrates representative of structural diversity.
Some of these enzymes have been found to be very promiscuous and generalist ("all-round frequent hit" AFH enzymes) with in particular significant activity towards a-aminonitriles leading to the synthesis of unnatural amino acids.
The production of nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) using a thermostable nitrilase immobilized on a PMMA support has been developed on a micro scale and improved to a continuous mode (collaboration with LITEN and LETI laboratories of CEA Grenoble).
Laboratories involved :
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.