13 Apr 2023
Visit of UCM Master in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology students
Today the students of the Master in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology of the Complutense University of Madrid (with their professor Isabel de la Mata from the Faculty of Biology) visited our institute ICP-CSIC. We delivered two conferences on enzymes and their applications, and directed evolution. After that, they visited the laboratories of Applied Biocatalysis and Directed Evolution. Overall, the visit was productive and successful.
3 Mar 2023
Monitoring meeting of LIFE CYCLOPS project
15 Dec 2022
7 Sept 2022
Bioconversion of xylan into a xylobiose derivative with antioxidant properties
Acidic xylooligosaccharides (XOS), also called aldouronics, are hetero-oligomers of xylose randomly branched with 4-O-methyl-D-glucuronic acid residues linked by α(1 → 2) bonds, which display bioactive properties. We have developed a simple and integrated method for the production of acidic XOS by enzymatic hydrolysis of a glucurono-xylan from beechwood. The acidic fraction contained a major product, characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and mono- and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) as 2′-O-α-(4-O-methyl-α-D-glucuronosyl)-xylobiose (X2_MeGlcA). Starting from 2 g of beechwood xylan, 1.5 g of total XOS were obtained, from which 225 mg (11% yield) corresponded to the aldouronic X2_MeGlcA. The acidic XOS exhibited higher antioxidant activity (measured by the ABTS·+ discoloration assay) than xylan, whilst neutral XOS displayed no antioxidant activity. This work demonstrates that it is possible to obtain a safe and natural antioxidant by enzymatic biotransformation of hardwood hemicellulose.“Enzymatic bioconversion of beechwood xylan into the antioxidant 2’-O-α-(4-O-methyl-D-glucuronosyl)-xylobiose”. N. Miguez, D. Fernández-Polo, P. Santos-Moriano, B. Rodríguez-Colinas, A. Poveda, J. Jiménez-Barbero, A.O. Ballesteros, F.J. Plou. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, published online in September 7th 2022 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-022-03240-3.
11 Jul 2022
The ABG Group at the Spanish Congress of Chemistry
6 Apr 2022
Elimination of D-Glucose in carbohydrate syrups published in ACS Food Science & Technology
During the synthesis of many bioactive carbohydrates, D-glucose is released as a side-product of the transglycosylation process. It is desirable to remove it due to its caloric contribution and its effect on caries and diabetes.
29 Nov 2021
Participation of the ABG group in the III Spanish Conference on Biocatalysis
The Applied Biocatalysis Group has been present in the III Spanish Conference on Biocatalysis (JEB 2021) that was held in Murcia between Thursday 25 and Saturday 27 November 2021. This congress was organized by the Spanish Biotechnology Society (SEBIOT) and the University of Murcia, giving continuity to the editions held in Madrid in 2015, and in Oviedo in 2018. Fadia Cervantes presented her work on glucose isomerase immobilization, José Luis González-Alfonso on phloretin glycosylation and Marina Minguet on the discovery of novel chitinolytic enzymes. We also contributed to other works in collaboration with several GLICOENZ members.
8 Nov 2021
Article published in the José Luis Garcı́a Fierro Festschrift special issue of I&EC Research
The journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research is publishing a collection of papers honoring Professor José Luis García Fierro of Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry, CSIC (Spain) to recognize his contributions to applied chemistry, mainly in catalysis.
30 Sept 2021
Participation in the book "CSIC Scientific Challenges: Towards 2030"
Our group has participated in the book "CSIC Scientific Challenges: Towards 2030", which provides an insight into the research currently being accomplished at the CSIC, and at the same time, build a global vision of what will be the key scientific challenges over the next decade. We contributed to the Challenge 7, "Catalysis for industrial production and of energy resources", coordinated by Prof. José C. Conesa (ICP-CSIC)
M. López Granados, V. Cortés, F.J. Plou, M.A. Peña, J.M. Coronado, A. Iglesias, P. Ávila, M.A. Bañares, A. Serrano, A. Martínez, M. Boronat, M.A.Centeno, A. Rodríguez González-Elipe and J. Pérez Torrente. "Catalysis for industrial production and of energy sources".
In: "CSIC Scientific Challenges: Towards 2030" (J.M. de Lucas & V. Moreno-Arribas, Coor.).Editorial CSIC (2021), Volume 8: Clean, safe and efficient energy, pp 175-205.
28 Jul 2021
New article about theoretical three-dimensional zinc complexes
In collaboration with other colleages, a theoretical three-dimensional study of known zinc ionophores was performed. Aided by a computational energetic study, we proposed that some dietary flavonoids, glutathione and amino acids could form zinc complexes and facilitate the transport of zinc, with the possible biological implications and potential health benefits of these natural compounds. The study is based on obtaining a molecular conformational structure of the zinc complexes with the lowest possible energy content. The discovery of novel substances that act as zinc ionophores is an attractive research topic that offers exciting opportunities in medicinal chemistry. We propose that these novel complexes could be promising candidates for drug design to provide new solutions for conditions and diseases related to zinc deficiency or impairment derived from the dysregulation of this important metal.
Ref.: "Three-Dimensional Zinc Complexes with Glutathione, Amino Acids and Flavonoids" J. M. Pérez de la Lastra , C. Andrés-Juan , F.J. Plou and E. Pérez-Lebeña. Stresses (2021), 1(3), 123-141; doi: 10.3390/stresses1030011
12 Jul 2021
Fatty acid esters as anticancer agents published in IJMS
We have collaborated with the group of Prof. Maciej Guzik at Polish Academy of Sciences in this work on methods of obtaining various fatty acid esters (SFAEs) using combined biological, chemical and enzymatic methods. It presents how modification of SFAE’s hydrophobic chains can influence their cytotoxicity against human skin melanoma and prostate cancer cell lines. The compound’s cytotoxicity was determined by an MTT assay, which followed an assessment of SFAEs’ potential metastatic properties in concentrations below IC50 values. Despite relatively high IC50 values (63.3–1737.6 μM) of the newly synthesized SFAE, they can compete with other sugar esters already described in the literature. The chosen bioactives caused low polymerization of microtubules and the depolymerization of actin filaments in nontoxic levels, which suggest an apoptotic rather than metastatic process. Altogether, cancer cells showed no propensity for metastasis after treating them with SFAE. They confirmed that lactose-based compounds seem the most promising surfactants among tested sugar esters. This manuscript creates a benchmark for creation of novel anticancer agents based on 3-hydroxylated fatty acids of bacterial origin.
7 Jul 2021
12 May 2021
Article on enzymatic synthesis of phloretin α‐glucosides
Glycosylation of polyphenols may increase their aqueous solubility, stability, bioavailability and pharmacological activity. Herein, we used a mutant of sucrose phosphorylase engineered to accept large polyphenols (variant TtSPP_R134A) to produce phloretin glucosides. The selective formation of a monoglucoside or a diglucoside can be kinetically controlled. MS and 2D-NMR determined that the monoglucoside was phloretin 4’-O-α-D-glucopyranoside and the diglucoside phloretin-4’-O-[α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→3)-O-α-D-glucopyranoside], a novel compound. The mono- and diglucoside were, respectively, 71- and 1200-fold more soluble in water than phloretin at room temperature. The α-glucosylation decreased the antioxidant capacity of phloretin, measured by DPPH and ABTS assays; however, this loss was moderate and the activity could be recovered upon deglycosylation in vivo. Since phloretin attracts a great interest in dermocosmetic applications, we analyzed the percutaneous absorption of glucosides and the aglycon employing a pig skin model.
Ref.:" Enzymatic Synthesis of Phloretin α‐Glucosides using a Sucrose Phosphorylase Mutant and its Effect on Solubility, Antioxidant Properties and Skin Absorption." J.L. Gonzalez-Alfonso, Z. Ubiparip, E. Jimenez-Ortega, A. Poveda, C. Alonso, L. Coderch, J. Jimenez-Barbero, J. Sanz-Aparicio, A. Ballesteros, T. Desmet, F.J. Plou. Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis (2021). Volume 363, 3079-3089, doi: 10.1002/adsc.202100201
28 Apr 2021
The Chemistry of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Revisited: Outlining Their Role in Biological Macromolecules (DNA, Lipids and Proteins) and Induced Pathologies
8 Mar 2021
Special Issue on Applied Biocatalysis in Europe
Applied Biocatalysis and Biotransformation, that is, the use of enzymes and whole-cell systems in manufacturing processes for synthetic purposes, has been experiencing a clear boom in recent years, which has led to the start of the so-called “fourth wave”. In fact, the latest advances in bioinformatics, system biology, process intensification, and, in particular, enzyme-directed evolution are widening the range of the efficacy of biocatalysts and accelerating the rate at which new enzymes are becoming available, even for activities not previously known. Traditionally, European scientists have been very actively involved in different aspects of Applied Biocatalysis. This Special Issue, edited by Profs. Andrés R.Alcántara and Francisco J. Plou, gather ten contributions from European research groups, in the form of either original research articles or up-to-date reviews, to exemplify recent advances in this area.
Andrés R. Alcántara and Francisco J. Plou. "Special Issue on “Applied Biocatalysis in Europe: A Sustainable Tool for Improving Life Quality”" Catalysts 2021, 11(3), 339; doi: 10.3390/catal11030339
9 Oct 2020
"Science and Engineering applied to agrofood and biosystems" seminars
Francisco J. Plou will participate in the online seminars on "Science and Engineering applied to agrofood and biosystems" organized by University of Valladolid. He will deliver the speech "Transformation of residues rich in carbohydrates into high added-value products using enzymes" (14 October 2020, 16 h).
10 Jun 2020
Tagatose production paper
We have developed a sustainable three-stage process for the bioconversion of cheese whey permeate into D-tagatose, a rare sugar with functional properties used as sweetener. The experimental conditions (pH, temperature, cofactors, etc.) for each step were independently optimized. The proposed integrated process takes place under mild conditions (neutral pH, moderate temperatures) in a short time (13 h), yielding a glucose-free syrup containing D-tagatose and galactose in a ratio 1:2 (w/w).Ref: “A three-step process for the bioconversion of whey permeate into D-tagatose syrup free of glucose”. F.V. Cervantes, S. Neifar, Z. Merdzo, J. Viña-Gonzalez, L. Fernandez-Arrojo, A.O. Ballesteros, M. Fernandez-Lobato, S. Bejar and F.J. Plou. Catalysts 10(6), 647 (2020) https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10060647
25 Feb 2020
Visiting Iparlat factory
3 Dec 2019
Article published in Scientific Reports
Reference: “Deciphering the molecular specificity of phenolic compounds as inhibitors or glycosyl acceptors of β fructofuranosidase from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous”. M. Ramirez-Escudero, N. Miguez, M. Gimeno-Perez, A.O. Ballesteros, M. Fernandez-Lobato, F.J. Plou* and J. Sanz-Aparicio* Scientific Reports 9, 17441 (2019), doi:10.1038/s41598-019-53948-y