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Ancestral SIGNED

Structural and biochemical studies of an ancestral enzyme with dual dehalogenase and luciferase activity

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Ancestral project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Ancestral project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Ancestral" about.

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Project "Ancestral" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.

Masarykova univerzita 

Organization address
address: Zerotinovo namesti 9
postcode: 60177

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Czech Republic [CZ]
 Total cost 142˙720 €
 EC max contribution 142˙720 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-06-01   to  2020-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    Masarykova univerzita CZ (BRNO STRED) coordinator 142˙720.00


 Project objective

Haloalkane dehalogenases (HLDs) catalyse the cleavage of the carbon-halogen bond of industrial organohalogen compounds and are interesting subjects to study molecular evolution. Strikingly, HLDs display remarkable sequence and structural similarity with luciferase from the marine invertebrate Renilla reniformis (RLuc), which reflects their common evolutionary history. Unlike HLDs, which are α/β hydrolases (EC, the RLuc luciferase is cofactor-independent monooxygenase (EC that converts coelenterazine into coelenteramide and carbon dioxide, followed by an emission of blue light. Yet, the evolutionary steps driving their functional divergence remain poorly understood. Our proof-of-concept data show the feasibility of the reconstruction of an ancestral enzyme, which existed prior to the functional divergence of the modern-day HLD and RLuc homologues, and that this in-lab resurrected enzyme exhibits so-far unobserved dual dehalogenase/luciferase activity. This project aims to dissect structural and biochemical basis of this unusual biocatalytic behaviour of the ancestral enzyme. Specifically, X-ray crystallography, including time-resolved studies with photo-switchable substrate analogues, and advanced mass spectrometry techniques will be employed to probe enzyme-substrate complexes in order to get molecular insights into the inner organization and workings of the catalytically promiscuous enzyme. Complementary site-directed mutagenesis and molecular dynamics simulations will explore the contributions of individual amino acid residues to the dual-function activity. The gained knowledge will extend our in-depth understanding of the evolution of underlying biocatalytic reaction mechanisms. Furthermore, it will pave the way for the development of novel software tools for the rational engineering of next-generation biocatalysts for specific uses in biotechnology and biomedicine.

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