We are CC-TOP, an Innovative Training Network focused on exploiting the potential benefits of C-C bond forming enzymes (“carboligases”) in the industrial synthesis of high value chiral compounds. We combine a multidisciplinary range of techniques and training actions to cover everything from enzyme discovery and optimisation to the design of industrial processes that allow using carboligases in real-life applications.

Building complex compounds by connecting carbon-carbon bonds is at the core of industrial organic synthesis. However, current methods often have important drawbacks, such as the use of hazardous substances or the generation of toxic waste. Our innovation is oriented to apply improved carboligases as a complementary, eco-friendly catalyst class, so that they can unleash their potential to yield the same outputs as conventional methods, but in a more efficient, selective and sustainable way.

Our research goals

We will harness microfluidic screening and gene enrichment methods to discover enzymes from three distinct catalyst classes.
We will analyse carboligases using X-ray crystallography and revamp them through rational design and directed evolution.
Our project is set to find novel uses of carboligases for industrially relevant products.
Our objective is to produce and apply new algorithms for computational modelling of carboligation processes.

Our approach

We have structured the different individual research projects within CC-TOP to represent all stages of a biocatalyst development program.

Discovery

Engineering

Application

WP1

PEP lyase

Discovery

ESR1
ESR2
Microfluidics

Engineering

ESR3
Directed Evolution

Application

ESR4
Computational Modelling

Carboligases

WP2

TDP enzyme

Discovery

Microfluidics
ESR5
ESR6
Metagenomics

Engineering

Directed Evolution
ESR7
ESR8
Rational Engineering

Application

Computational Modelling
ESR9
ESR10
ESR11
Asymmetric Synthesis

Fine Chemicals

WP3

aldolase

Discovery

Metagenomics
Selection of protein scaffold

Engineering

Rational Engineering
ESR12
ESR13

Application

Asymmetric Synthesis
ESR14
ESR15

Pharmaceutical Precursors

WP1

PEP lyase

ESR1
ESR2
ESR3
ESR4

Carboligases

Microfluidics
Directed Evolution
Computational Modelling

WP2

TDP enzyme

ESR5
ESR6
ESR7
ESR8
ESR9
ESR10
ESR11

Fine Chemicals

Metagenomics
Rational Engineering
Asymmetric Synthesis

WP3

aldolase

Selection of protein scaffold
ESR12
ESR13
ESR14
ESR15

Pharmaceutical Precursors

Our research programme

Our project CC-TOP has 15 individual research projects that are structured to represent the typical development stages of a biocatalyst. We’ve divided the individual projects under three work packages (WPs).

WP1
WP2
WP3

WP1 | Phosphoenolpyruvate lyases driven by a high-energy substrate

This Work Package aims at enabling technologies to take novel enzymes and complex reaction systems to an industrial scale.

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WP2 | Thiamine diphosphate dependent enzymes with high potential for innovative reactivity

The projects involved in this package aim at unravelling the factors that govern substrate scope and stereoselectivity.

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WP3 | Designer biocatalysts for promiscuous new-to-nature activities

This Work Package aims at engineering novel protein scaffolds unknown to nature.

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