Photo-Biocatalysis: Biotransformations in the Presence of Light

Luca Schmermund, Valentina Jurkaš, Fatma Feyza Özgen, Giovanni Davide Barone, Hanna Christiane Büchsenschütz, Christoph K. Winkler, S Schmidt, Robert Kourist, Wolfgang Kroutil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Light has received increased attention for various chemical reactions but also in combination with biocatalytic reactions. Because currently only a few enzymatic reactions are known, which per se require light, most transformations involving light and a biocatalyst exploit light either for providing the cosubstrate or cofactor in an appropriate redox state for the biotransformation. In selected cases, a promiscuous activity of known enzymes in the presence of light could be induced. In other approaches, light-induced chemical reactions have been combined with a biocatalytic step, or light-induced biocatalytic reactions were combined with chemical reactions in a linear cascade. Finally, enzymes with a light switchable moiety have been investigated to turn off/on or tune the actual reaction. This Review gives an overview of the various approaches for using light in biocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4115-4144
Number of pages30
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • biocatalysis
  • biotransformation
  • cascades
  • cofactor recycling
  • photocatalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis


  • NAWI Graz


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