Enzyme design for next generation plastic biodegradation

CSIRO Cutting Edge Science and Engineering Symposium, 2019 • Clayton, Victoria Australia


Albert Ardevol Grau

Research Scientist at CSIRO

Talk summary

The use of plastic materials has spread to all industries and manufactured products fortheir outstanding mechanical properties, malleability, thermal and chemical stability and low price. Most plastics are very difficult to degrade, which is good for storage, packaging and durability of the products, but it hampers disposal and recycling of the material. Recently, several enzymes have been found to be able to degrade certain plastics and in PET.However, the low turnover and low thermostability hinders their use for industrial and recycling applications. The 3D structures of some of these enzymes have enabled the rational design of new recombinant proteins with improvedproperties.To further embrace the rational design of the PETase enzymes, we are usingcomputational methods to model the enzyme-PET interactions and the reaction mechanism. With virtual docking, MD and QM/MM free energy calculations,we can predict the effect of target residues that can be modified to improve the hydrolytic activity and the biophysical properties of the enzymes.

About this talk




On May 27th, 2019


CSIRO Cutting Edge Science and Engineering Symposium, 2019 (go to website)


Clayton, Victoria Australia

Audience size

In front of 45 people