The Oxygen Dilemma: A Severe Challenge for the Application of Monooxygenases?

Dirk Holtmann, Frank Hollmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Monooxygenases are promising catalysts because they in principle enable the organic chemist to perform highly selective oxyfunctionalisation reactions that are otherwise difficult to achieve. For this, monooxygenases require reducing equivalents, to allow reductive activation of molecular oxygen at the enzymes' active sites. However, these reducing equivalents are often delivered to O2 either directly or via a reduced intermediate (uncoupling), yielding hazardous reactive oxygen species and wasting valuable reducing equivalents. The oxygen dilemma arises from monooxygenases' dependency on O2 and the undesired uncoupling reaction. With this contribution we hope to generate a general awareness of the oxygen dilemma and to discuss its nature and some promising solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1398
Number of pages8
JournalChemBioChem: a European journal of chemical biology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2016


  • biocatalysis
  • monooxygenases
  • oxidoreductases
  • oxyfunctionalization
  • uncoupling


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