The biochemical project “Discovery of industrially important Novel Cytochrome P450 Enzymes from thermophilic Regions of Turkey, Australia and New Zealand” run by Prof. Dr. Nevin Gül Karagüler from ITU Molecular Biology and Genetics Deparment was accepted by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) Directorate of Science Fellowships and Grant Programmes (BİDEB). The host university for the proposed work is University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia.

The current chemical industry introduces many non-natural products to the market. For this reason, molecules that are not obtainable by natural enzymatic processes or synthetic chemistry require novel catalysts. Cytochrome P450s are one of these enzyme systems with the greatest potential for the development of novel, industrially useful biocatalysts. However, the existing P450s studied to date are not stable under industrial conditions, motivating the discovery of new P450 enzymes. For the first time, from samples collected in extremophilic regions of Turkey, (three selected hot spring regions), Australia (three selected Artesian bore hot springs) and New Zealand (three volcanic vents), novel thermophilic P450s will be explored using metagenomic approaches and expressed as recombinant proteins. Their biotechnological potentials will be characterised. Then bioinformatic based protein engineering will be applied to this novel P450s to improve their properties that are required in the industry. At the same time, a library of P450s will be constructed from the samples obtained from different countries with very diverse temperatures.

Within the framework of the cooperation to be established, since high-quality graduate students will also take part in these projects it will contribute to the training of the next generation of talented scientists.