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An algal photoenzyme converts fatty acids to hydrocarbons

Damien Sorigué 1, 2 Bertrand Legeret 1, 2 Stéphan Cuiné 1, 2 Stephanie Blangy 1, 2 Solène Y. Moulin 1, 2 Emmanuelle Billon 1, 2 Pierre Richaud 1, 2 Sabine Brugière 3 Yohann Couté 3 Didier Nurizzo 4 Pavel Müller 5 Klaus Brettel 5 David Pignol 1, 6 Pascal Arnoux 1, 6 Yonghua Li-Beisson 1, 2 G. Peltier 1, 2 Fred Beisson 1, 2, * 
* Corresponding author
2 EBM - Bioénergie et Microalgues
BIAM - Institut de Biosciences et Biotechnologies d'Aix-Marseille (ex-IBEB) : DRF/BIAM
3 EDyP - Etude de la dynamique des protéomes
BGE - UMR S1038 - Laboratoire de Biologie à Grande Échelle
6 MEM - Microbiologie Environnementale et Moléculaire
BIAM - Institut de Biosciences et Biotechnologies d'Aix-Marseille (ex-IBEB) : DRF/BIAM
Abstract : Although many organisms capture or respond to sunlight, few enzymes are known to be driven by light. Among these are DNA photolyases and the photosynthetic reaction centers. Here, we show that the microalga $Chlorella\ variabilis$ NC64A harbors a photoenzyme that acts in lipid metabolism. This enzyme belongs to an algae-specific clade of the glucose-methanol-choline oxidoreductase family and catalyzes the decarboxylation of free fatty acids to n-alkanes or-alkenes in response to blue light. Crystal structure of the protein reveals a fatty acid–binding site in a hydrophobic tunnel leading to the light-capturing flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor. The decarboxylation is initiated through electron abstraction from the fatty acid by the photoexcited FAD with a quantum yield >80%. This photoenzyme, which we name fatty acid photodecarboxylase, may be useful in light-driven, bio-based production of hydrocarbons.
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Damien Sorigué, Bertrand Legeret, Stéphan Cuiné, Stephanie Blangy, Solène Y. Moulin, et al.. An algal photoenzyme converts fatty acids to hydrocarbons. Science, 2017, 357 (6354), pp.903 - 907. ⟨10.1126/science.aan6349⟩. ⟨hal-01775093⟩



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