31 August 2017

Department of Chemistry to participate in HOPE, a large Novo Nordisk Foundation funded project to study LPMOs

With a new DKK 35 million grant (grant no. NNF17SA0027704), the Novo Nordisk Foundation will strengthen Danish research in LPMOs, lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, a class of enzymes discovered about 10 years ago which seems now to be crucial for efficient recalcitrant biomass degradation. The project ‘HOPE’, Harnessing the Oxidative Power of Enzymes, will investigate many aspects of LPMOs chemistry and biology including their involvement in human and plant pathogenesis and is led by Katja Salomon Johansen. As well as funding a new laboratory at the Plant Science Centre, the project involves the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Mangement and the Centre for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen, as well as the Centre for Biosustainability at DTU. At the Department of Chemistry, Leila Lo Leggio, who has already contributed several milestone publications to the understanding of LPMO structure and function, will lead the structural chemistry work on these enzymes within the HOPE project, using synchrotron crystallography and other X-ray and neutron-based techniques as main tools.

Click here to read the news story on the NNF website 

You may read more about the structure and function of LPMOs in the following recent publications from the Department of Chemistry:

“Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases – a crystallographer’s view on a new class of biomass degrading enzymes” by K.E.H. Frandsen and Leila Lo Leggio (2016) IUCrJ. 3. 448-467


Enzymatisk nedbrydning af polysaccharider by Leila Lo Leggio, M. Tovborg and K.S. Johansen, Dansk Kemi 97, 23-25 (in Danish).


The interaction of a fungal LPMO with a fragment of cellulose

The interaction of a fungal LPMO with a fragment of cellulose, from “The molecular basis of polysaccharide cleavage by lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases” by Frandsen et al. (2016) Nature Chemical Biology, 12, 298-303.