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Bastien Bissaro

Bastien Bissaro

session, year:
2014 2nd

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
Norwegian University of Life Sciences

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Mobility project

Structure-function studies of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, novel tools for enzymatic biomass conversion

The deconstruction of recalcitrant polysaccharides such as chitin or cellulose, but also that of hemicellulose or starch, was recently (2010) demonstrated to require the oxidative action of enzymes named lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs), reclassified as auxiliary activities within the CAZymes database. LPMOs are copper-dependent enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of glycosidic bonds via a still rather unclear mechanism, involving molecular oxygen as well as electron donors. This post-doctoral project aims at, on one hand, providing fundamental insight into the LPMOs mechanism (notably development of new electron providing systems) and, on the other hand, elucidating the molecular features involved in substrate specificity divergence that occurred along natural evolution.

Biography & research interests

Following a degree in biochemical engineering (INSA of Toulouse, France), I decided to focus my scientific activities on the deciphering and engineering of enzymes mechanisms in relationship with environmental issues, allying therefore both fundamental science and concrete applications. During my PhD thesis (2011-2014, INSA, Toulouse), guided by Prof. Em. P. Monsan and Dr. M. O Donohue, my goal was to understand how glycoside hydrolases, which are hydrolytic enzymes in Nature, can be converted into enzymes catalyzing the synthesis of glycosidic linkages. Then, in the frame of an AgreenSkills outgoing fellowship, I turned my attention towards the mysteries of the recently discovered Lytic Polysaccharides MonoOxygenases (LPMO), under the supervision of Prof. V. Eijsink (NMBU, As, Norway). Those enzymes are essential for the deconstruction of complex polysaccharides (cellulose, chitin, starch, etc...) and play thus a key role in the Earth´s carbon cycle.I discovered that LPMOs are not monooxygenases and I proposed a new mechanism, with potential tremendous industrial and biological consequences that we are currently investigating. I am currently investigating this new mechanism by biophysical and computational approaches.

Selected publications

Bissaro B., Rohr A.K., Muller G., Chylenski P., Skaugen M., Forsberg Z., Horn S.J., Vaaje-Kolstad G. and Eijsink V.G.H., 2017. Oxidative cleavage of polysaccharides by monooxygenases depends on H2O2. Nat. Chem. Biol., 13, 1123-1128.

Vaaje-Kolstad G., Forsberg Z., Loose J., Bissaro B. and Eijsink V.G.H., 2017. Structural diversity of Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenases. Current Opinion in Structural Biology, 44, 67-76.

Bissaro B., Forsberg. Z., Ni Y., Hollmann F., Vaaje-Kolstad G., Eijsink V.G.H., 2016. Fueling biomass-degrading oxidative enzymes by light-driven water oxidation. Green Chem., 18, 5357-5366.

Bissaro B., Durand J., Biarnes X., Planas A., Monsan P., O Donohue M. J. and Faure R., 2015. Molecular Design of non-Leloir furanose-transferring enzymes from an α-L-arabinofuranosidase: A rationale for the engineering of evolved transglycosylases. ACS Catal., 5, 4598-4611.

Bissaro B., Monsan P., Faure R., O Donohue M. J., 2015. Glycosynthesis in a waterworld: new insight into the molecular basis of transglycosylation in retaining glycoside hydrolases. Biochem J., 467, 1, 17-35.

Awards & patents

Awarded outstanding poster presentation at Gordon Research Conferences (Andover, USA, August, 2015)

AgreenSkill-Marie Curie Fellowship (FP7 COFUND) - 2015/2016

Obtained Doctoral research fellow of Excellence from INRA (Young Scientist 5-year Contract)

Awarded outstanding poster presentation at 10th Carbohydrate Bioengineering Meeting (Prague, April, 2013)

Awarded best poster presentation (Sevab d'Or) during Doctoral School Conferences (Toulouse, November, 2011)

Talks in annual meetings

Cracking Polysaccharides Crackers' Code
2015 / P5 Products and Technology / by Bastien Bissaro / Fellows Speed Presentation


LPMO, enzyme mechanism, protein engineering, biomass valorisation, cellulose, chitin, hemicellulose