Biocatalytic routes to lactone monomers for polymer production

Hanan L. Messiha, Syed T. Ahmed, Vijaykumar Karuppiah, Reynier Suardíaz, Gabriel A. Ascue Avalos, Natalie Fey, Stephen Yeates, Helen S. Toogood, Adrian J. Mulholland, Nigel S. Scrutton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Downloads (Pure)


Monoterpenoids offer potential as biocatalytically derived monomer feedstocks for high-performance renewable polymers. We describe a biocatalytic route to lactone monomers menthide and dihydrocarvide employing Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) from Pseudomonas sp. HI-70 (CPDMO) and Rhodococcus sp. Phi1 (CHMOPhi1) as an alternative to organic synthesis. The regioselectivity of dihydrocarvide isomer formation was controlled by site-directed mutagenesis of three key active site residues in CHMOPhi1. A combination of crystal structure determination, molecular dynamics simulations, and mechanistic modeling using density functional theory on a range of models provides insight into the origins of the discrimination of the wild type and a variant CHMOPhi1 for producing different regioisomers of the lactone product. Ring-opening polymerizations of the resultant lactones using mild metal-organic catalysts demonstrate their utility in polymer production. This semisynthetic approach utilizing a biocatalytic step, non-petroleum feedstocks, and mild polymerization catalysts allows access to known and also to previously unreported and potentially novel lactone monomers and polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1997-2008
Number of pages12
Issue number13
Early online date13 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • RCUK
  • EP/K014706/1
  • EP/K014668/1
  • EP/K014854/1
  • EP/ K014714/1
  • EP/M022609/1
  • EP/M013219/1


Dive into the research topics of 'Biocatalytic routes to lactone monomers for polymer production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this