Molecular breeding of cytochrome P450 enzymes (2002–2004)
Cytochrome P450s are enzymes that catalyse an impressive array of oxidative transformations. However, there is little available data on how to modify their substrate specificity and generate tailored biocatalysts. We plan to use an emerging technology known as DNA shuffling to create libraries of P450s with varying activities. These will then be screened for enzymes that can catalyse the formation of indigo (a blue dye) and indirubin (a chemotherapeutic agent). The enzymes that catalyse indigo formation will be useful in the production of coloured transgenic plants and those that produce indirubin will have a role in gene therapy.''