Curious to find innovative and sustainable ways to bioproduce halogenated compounds by plugging pathways together in a lego-like fashion.
Fluorine is an essential atom that can drastically modify the properties of drugs, crop-protecting chemicals or polymers. However, the chemical synthesis of such compounds is challenging and often requires the use of hazardous reagents. A biocatalysis approach to the synthesis of organofluorines constitutes a great step forward for a sustainable fluorinated chemistry. Therefore, my project is focusing on incorporating fluorine in simple organic compounds to widen the catalytic palette of Pseudomonas putida. We are harnessing enzymes from the biofluorination pathway of Streptomyces cattleya to convert S-adenosyl-L-methionine and fluoride into fluoroacetaldehyde. Such simple fluorinated moieties will then be incorporated in secondary pathways to generate complex organofluorines, e.g. fluorinated aromatic compounds. These conversions will first be carried out in an in vitro context to overcome the any potential toxicity or cross-reactivity issue and then wired into the bacterial metabolism.