Chemical Transformations

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The Chemical Transformations theme aimed to promote the prosperity of the UK manufacturing base in fine and bulk chemicals, polymers and pharmaceuticals areas of research include: i) Enhancing selectivity and sustainability of existing processes, ii) Pharmaceutical process chemistry; synthesis gas conversion; renewable polymers, iii) New catalytic approaches to transformations including catalysis in confined environments; transition metal free catalysis; biocatalysis for new chemical transformations and iv) Combination of biocatalysis, homogeneous and heterogeneous, organo- and metal-based catalysis.

See highlight projects and publications below:

Highlight:

Bridging biochemical and synthetic logic with machine learning (PI Davidson [Bath], Davis [Oxford]) We developed an unbiased and high-throughput method to extensively profile a full enzyme superfamily of all 107 glycosyltransferase family 1 (GT1) enzymes present in the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana.

Bridging biochemical and synthetic logic with machine learning (PI Davidson [Bath], Davis [Oxford])Predicting the precise chemical transformation(s) a biocatalyst performs from de novo chemical and biological principles remains a major challenge even in the age of genomic “big data.” We developed an unbiased and high-throughput method to extensively profile a full enzyme superfamily of all 107 glycosyltransferase family 1 (GT1) enzymes present in the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Working with computer scientists, we then built a machine-learning program, GT-Predict, to rationalize trends from this training set and enable the prediction of GT1 enzyme activities. GT-Predict allows us to discover the optimal biocatalyst for a desired glycosylation reaction, annotate new GT1 enzymes with their bespoke chemical reactions and gives us fine detail into the engineering of new activities, which we then built into these GT1 scaffolds using site-directed mutagenesis.

Find further transformations projects at the main Cat Hub website

Publications:

Title: Chemoselective Polymerizations from Mixtures of Epoxide, Lactone, Anhydride, and Carbon Dioxide
Authors: Romain, C.; Zhu, Y.; Dingwall, P.; Paul, S.; Rzepa, H. S.; Buchard, A.; Williams, C. K.
Journal: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 4120-4131 LINK
Title: Functional and informatics analysis enables glycosyltransferase activity prediction
Authors: Min Yang, Charlie Fehl, Karen V. Lees, Eng-Kiat Lim, Wendy A. Offen, Gideon J. Davies, Dianna J. Bowles, Matthew G. Davidson, Stephen J. Roberts & Benjamin G. Davis  
Journal: Nature Chemical Biology, volume 14, pages1109–1117 (2018) LINK
Title: Sustainable Polymers From Renewable Resources for Today and Tomorrow
Authors: Romain, C; Zhu, Y.; Williams, C.K
Journal: Nature LINK

Further publications can be found at the UK Catalysis Hub website – https://ukcatalysishub.co.uk/publications/