Elizabeth Jakobsen Neilson
“LiftOFF! Optimising Plant FMOs for Future Production” is an innovative and multi-disciplinary project aiming to characterize novel plant FMO enzymes for downstream use in industrial applications. FMOs (flavin-containing monooxygenases) constitute an important class of enzymes present in all kingdoms of life. FMOs modify bioactive molecules by incorporating molecular oxygen. In humans, this action facilitates the metabolism and detoxification of drugs and xenobiotics. By contrast, the role of plant FMOs is largely enigmatic, with only a handful of members characterized to date. This is highly surprising due to their expected involvement in fundamental processes such as hormone metabolism and plant immunity. LiftOFF! aims to characterize this highly valuable class of plant enzymes and identify novel bioactive molecules formed by the action of FMOs. Furthermore, this project will optimize FMOs as biocatalysts for biotechnology, improving enzyme reconstitution, stability and function.