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. 2015 Dec;29:10-7.
doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.06.009. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

Enzymatic Conversion of Lignin Into Renewable Chemicals


Enzymatic Conversion of Lignin Into Renewable Chemicals

Timothy D H Bugg et al. Curr Opin Chem Biol. .


The aromatic heteropolymer lignin is a major component of plant cell walls, and is produced industrially from paper/pulp manufacture and cellulosic bioethanol production. Conversion of lignin into renewable chemicals is a major unsolved problem in the development of a biomass-based biorefinery. The review describes recent developments in the understanding of bacterial enzymes for lignin breakdown, such as DyP peroxidases, bacterial laccases, and beta-etherase enzymes. The use of pathway engineering methods to construct genetically modified microbes to convert lignin to renewable chemicals (e.g. vanillin, adipic acid) via fermentation is discussed, and the search for novel applications for lignin (e.g. carbon fibre).

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