Dream Chemistry Lecture series

Dream Chemistry Lecture series
06 05

PD2PI fellows are invited to IPC PAS Seminar within Dream Chemistry Lecture series delivered by:

Dr Ivana Drienovska,

Vrije University Amsterdam

“Unnatural amino acids in enzyme design & engineering”


Thursday, the 6th May, 10 am, via Zoom

link to join zoom seminar:

Zoom link

Meeting ID: 935 3987 5305

Passcode: 508858


Protein design is, just like nature’s evolution, limited by the number of canonical protein “building blocks”. The emergence of robust methods to expand the genetic code allows incorporation of unnatural amino acids into the polypeptide chains; thus making it possible to introduce additional chemical functionalities in proteins. As of now, more than 200 unnatural amino acids were incorporated and applied as handles for protein imaging and spectroscopy or for conjugation with small molecules, however very few were used in the area of enzyme design. My research in previous years focused on several aspects of this very promising area [1]. During my talk, I will showcase three different examples of unnatural amino acids use in enzyme design. These include the preparation of an artificial metalloenzymes utilizing metal-binding unnatural amino acids (2,2΄bipyridin-5yl)alanine and 8-hydroxyquinolinealanine [2], the design of artificial enzymes with unnatural amino acid p-aminophenylalanine as a catalytic residue [3] and the engineering of a natural enzyme - the aryl esterase from Pseudomonas fluorescens - utilizing a pool of unnatural amino acids [4].



[1] Drienovská I., Roelfes G. Expanding the enzyme universe with genetically encoded unnatural amino acids. Nature Cat. 2020, 3, 193–202

[2] Drienovská I., Rioz-Martínez A., Draksharapu A., Roelfes G. Novel artificial metalloenzymes by in vivo incorporation of metal-binding unnatural amino acids. Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 770-776

[3] Drienovská I., Mayer C., Dulson C., Roelfes G., A designer enzyme featuring an unnatural amino acid as catalytic residue., Nature Chem., 2018, 10, 946-952

[4]  Drienovská I., Gajdoš M., Kindler A., Takhtehchian M., Darnhofer B., Birner‐Gruenberger R., Dörr M., Bornscheuer U.T, Kourist R. Folding assessment of incorporation of noncanonical amino acids facilitates expansion of functional‐group diversity for enzyme engineering. Chem. Eur. J., 2020, 26, 12338–12342