Apoenzyme reconstitution as a chemical tool for structural enzymology and biotechnology

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2009;48(9):1550-74. doi: 10.1002/anie.200803098.


Many enzymes contain a nondiffusible organic cofactor, often termed a prosthetic group, which is located in the active site and essential for the catalytic activity of the enzyme. These cofactors can often be extracted from the protein to yield the respective apoenzyme, which can subsequently be reconstituted with an artificial analogue of the native cofactor. Nowadays a large variety of synthetic cofactors can be used for the reconstitution of apoenzymes and, thus, generate novel semisynthetic enzymes. This approach has been refined over the past decades to become a versatile tool of structural enzymology to elucidate structure-function relationships of enzymes. Moreover, the reconstitution of apoenzymes can also be used to generate enzymes possessing enhanced or even entirely new functionality. This Review gives an overview on historical developments and the current state-of-the-art on apoenzyme reconstitution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoenzymes / chemistry*
  • Apoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Biotechnology
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide / chemistry
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide / metabolism
  • Heme / chemistry
  • Heme / metabolism
  • PQQ Cofactor / chemistry
  • PQQ Cofactor / metabolism
  • Protein Engineering
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Apoenzymes
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide
  • Heme
  • PQQ Cofactor