Concluding Remarks

The number of BVMOs that are available in recombinant form has significantly increased over the last few years. Several close homologs of CHMO and cyclopen-tanone monooxygenase have been described and exploited for biocatalytic studies revealing new complementing enantio- and regioselective properties. Furthermore, BVMOs have been found that cover totally new substrates ranges (e.g. HAPMO and PAMO acting on aromatic ketones and sulfides [55, 60]) or that display novel selectivities (e.g. a novel BVMO from M. tuberculosis enabling kinetic resolution of bicyclic ketones [72, 73]). These research activities have broadened the biocatalytic scope of BVMO applications. The availability of a large collection of sequence microbial genomes will facilitate cloning and exploration of new BVMOs, thereby expanding the biocatalytic scope of BVMOs even further.

Except for the discovery of novel BVMOs and their corresponding catalytic abilities, new approaches have also been developed to perform BVMO-mediated conversions. Using E. coli cells expressing CHMO an asymmetric Baeyer-Villiger biooxidation reaction has been performed at kilogram scale [46]. This convincingly shows that by using whole cells expressing a BVMO of interest selective oxidation reactions on a preparative scale are feasible.

Another valuable recent development is the elucidation of a BVMO structure at atomic resolution [34]. The structure has provided valuable insight into the complex mechanism of catalysis mediated by FAD-containing BVMOs. It also allows dedicated enzyme redesign studies which will lead to engineered BVMOs with tailored biocatalytic properties.

In view of the abovementioned developments, we anticipate a bright future for BVMO-based biocatalytic applications.


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