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Published on 13 November 2018

Nitrilases catalyze the hydrolysis of nitrile derivatives into the corresponding carboxylic acids.


We have built a large collection of nitrilases and have cross-tested enzymatic biodiversity against substrates representative of structural diversity.

Some of these enzymes have been found to be very promiscuous and generalist ("all-round frequent hit" AFH enzymes) with in particular significant activity towards a-aminonitriles leading to the synthesis of unnatural amino acids.


The production of nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) using a thermostable nitrilase immobilized on a PMMA support has been developed on a micro scale and improved to a continuous mode (collaboration with LITEN and LETI laboratories of CEA Grenoble).