Discovery, application and protein engineering of Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases for organic synthesis

Org Biomol Chem. 2012 Aug 21;10(31):6249-65. doi: 10.1039/c2ob25704a. Epub 2012 Jun 26.


Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) are useful enzymes for organic synthesis as they enable the direct and highly regio- and stereoselective oxidation of ketones to esters or lactones simply with molecular oxygen. This contribution covers novel concepts such as searching in protein sequence databases using distinct motifs to discover new Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases as well as high-throughput assays to facilitate protein engineering in order to improve BVMOs with respect to substrate range, enantioselectivity, thermostability and other properties. Recent examples for the application of BVMOs in synthetic organic synthesis illustrate the broad potential of these biocatalysts. Furthermore, methods to facilitate the more efficient use of BVMOs in organic synthesis by applying e.g. improved cofactor regeneration, substrate feed and in situ product removal or immobilization are covered in this perspective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bacteria / chemistry
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Biotransformation
  • Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic* / methods
  • Esters / chemistry
  • Esters / metabolism
  • Fungi / chemistry
  • Fungi / enzymology
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Fungi / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ketones / chemistry
  • Ketones / metabolism*
  • Lactones / chemistry
  • Lactones / metabolism
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / chemistry
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Engineering* / methods
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Esters
  • Ketones
  • Lactones
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases