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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G005834/1
Title: Creating a user friendly Transaminase toolkit
Principal Investigator: Ward, Professor JM
Other Investigators:
Hailes, Professor HC
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Sigma-Aldrich Group
Department: Structural Molecular Biology
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Follow on Fund
Starts: 01 May 2009 Ends: 30 June 2010 Value (£): 127,236
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioprocess Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Food and Drink
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 May 2008 Follow on Fund Panel 2008 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Many drugs to treat the wide range of diseases and conditions are complex molecules, which contain what are termed biologically active groups. One of the most important biologically active groups in many drug molecules is the amine group. Indeed, 70% of all pharmaceuticals contain derivatives of chiral amines and the global market of chiral amines is estimated as 4 bn/annum. It is often non-trivial and expensive for organic chemists to make complex drug molecules and put the amine group in the correct position or in the correct relationship to other parts of the molecule. Some chemical procedures to introduce the amine group can be harsh and disrupt or modify the other part of the drug molecule. However, enzymes can be used to introduce the amine group into selective positions in drug molecules. Enzymes are proteins and are biological catalysts, often termed biocatalysts. They are usually very specific as to where they will place the amine group and they carry out their reaction under mild conditions. They are also a renewable resource and are biodegradable unlike some chemical reagents. These enzymes that can put an amine group into a drug molecule are called transaminases.In this project we will find new transaminase enzymes that are able to introduce the amine moiety into complex drug molecules. Then we will put the genes for these new transaminases in to a laboratory bacterium that can be grown in large amounts to create a renewable source of the transaminases. We will investigate how to put transaminases with different specificities towards different molecules, into kits that chemists who carry out research into creating new drugs, can use. These kits will allow chemists to try out different transaminases on the compound they might be working on and if they find one that works at the small scale used in the laboratory, they can use that transaminse in a larger scale process.We want to encourage the use of transaminase biocatalysts in the synthesis of drugs and other chemicals as this will be a more atom efficient process for making complex drugs and chemicals of the future, with less environmental impact.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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