A new synergistic method can create non-canonical amino acids by merging synthetic photochemistry with biocatalysis


New chemistry, new enzymology. With a new method that merges the best of two worlds — the unique and complementary activities of enzymes and small-molecule photochemistry — researchers at UC Santa Barbara have opened the door to new catalytic reactions. Their synergistic method allows for new products and can streamline existing processes, in particular, the synthesis of non-canonical amino acids, which are important for therapeutic purposes.

“This method solves what in my opinion is one of the most important problems in our field: how to develop new catalytic reactions in a general sense that are new to both biology and chemistry,” said chemistry Professor Yang Yang, an author of a paper that appears in the journal Science On top of that, the process is stereoselective, meaning it can select for a preferred “shape” of the resulting amino acid.

News Date: 

Friday, July 28, 2023