Peroxidases as Potential Industrial Biocatalysts
Oxidation is a central transformation reaction in synthetic chemistry. For decades, oxidation reactions were carried out with stoichiometric toxic reagents such as chromates. For the past few decades, biocatalysis with heme peroxidases and peroxygenases have emerged as an additional pillar for environmentally benign oxidation catalysis. Biocatalytic oxidations that use hydrogen peroxide are highly desired for applications in the area of pharmaceuticals. Additionally, biocatalytic reactions offer advantages over many chemocatalytic counterparts, their selectivity being the most important. Heme peroxidases have the potential to be widely used as oxidative biocatalysts in many industrial fields. This is because they are enzymes capable of performing a wide variety of oxidation reactions, ranging from radical coupling reactions, to oxygen atom insertion into substrates, to several types of halogenation processes. The types of catalytic activity exhibited by heme peroxidases are associated with the redox potential of the active species formed in the catalytic cycle, the accessibility of the substrates to their heme active site or to solvent-exposed residues acting as alternative oxidation sites, as well as the possibility to generate diffusible halogenating and oxidating species. In this chapter a brief overview of potential applications will be discussed.