Bioeconomy Science Center
Forschung und Kooperation für nachhaltige Bioökonomie
Bioeconomy Science Center
Forschung und Kooperation für nachhaltige Bioökonomie
SEED FUND Projekt DiPro

Dirigent Proteins in Bioeconomy


Dirigent proteins convey selectivity to oxidative coupling reactions like laccase catalysed reaction and can be developed into a versatile tool at the interface of lignin degrading processes and bio-sustainable fine chemical production. Until now little is known about the class of dirigent proteins. The proposed project aims to identify new dirigent proteins from plants by means of bioinformatics and express them functionally in yeast. The participating project partners bring together knowhow in bioinformatics (Usadel), yeast expression systems (Holz, Classen) and chemical screening techniques (Pietruszka). Altogether, this can make the proposed project a successful starter for follow-up projects to exploit the potential of dirigent proteins as tailored tools for bioeconomic chemistry.

Impact on Bioeconomy
One of the most abundant biomass is lignin based. Thus, many attempts are made to break the polymer lignin down to its monomers the lignols and thereby to harness this biomass for the production of bio-based chemicals. Dirigent proteins in combination with oxidative enzymes are specialized in the selective coupling of monolignols to the dimeric form, i.e. the lignans. Until now, there is not much known about the dirigent proteins. Both, the number of characterized dirigent proteins as well as the supply of functional protein, is rather limited today. Exactly this bottleneck is addressed in the proposed project by increasing the variety of dirigent proteins and their heterologous production. The dirigent proteins can be developed to be versatile and precise tools for fine chemical production. The dirigent protein project is being conducted in a promising field adding to the value chain from biomass to active agents such as pharmaceuticals.

Expected results/ project products
The project will identify new dirigent proteins and set-up an expression and screening-platform to develop those helper proteins as versatile tools.

Participating Core Groups

Prof. Dr. Jörg Pietruszka, Dr. Martina Holz, Dr. Thomas Classen, Bioorganische Chemie, HHU Düsseldorf/FZ Jülich
Prof. Dr. Björn Usadel, Lehrstuhl für Botanik und Institut für Biologie I, RWTH Aachen

Dr. Thomas Classen

Bioorganische Chemie (BOC)
HHU Düsseldorf/FZ Jülich
52428 Jülich
Tel: +49 (0)2461 - 61-2208

Project duration

Funding budget
The total budget of DiPro is € 148.855. DiPro is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.