Cofactor regeneration for sustainable enzymatic biosynthesis

Wenfang Liu, Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


Oxidoreductases are attractive catalysts for biosynthesis of chiral compounds and polymers, construction of biosensors, and degradation of environmental pollutants. Their practical applications, however, can be quite challenging since they often require cofactors such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). These cofactors are generally expensive. Efficient regeneration of cofactors is therefore critical to the economic viability of industrial-scale biotransformations using oxidoreductases. The chemistry of cofactor regeneration is well known nowadays. The challenge is mostly regarding how to achieve the regeneration with immobilized enzyme systems which are preferred for industrial processes to facilitate the recovery and continuous use of the catalysts. This has become a great hurdle for the industrialization of many promising enzymatic processes, and as a result, most of the biotransformations involving cofactors have been traditionally performed with living cells in industry. Accompanying the rapidly growing interest in industrial biotechnology, immobilized enzyme biocatalyst systems with cofactor regeneration have been the focus for many studies reported since the late 1990s. The current paper reviews the methods of cofactor retention for development of sustainable and regenerative biocatalysts as revealed in these recent studies, with the intent to complement other reviewing articles that are mostly regeneration chemistry-oriented. We classify in this paper the methods of sustainable cofactor regeneration into two categories, namely membrane entrapment and solid-attachment of cofactors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC#20576135) and the National Knowledge Innovation Project from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (# KSCX2-YW-G-019) and 863 Project (#2006AA02Z217) for the financial support. P.W. acknowledges the support of a CAREER award from the US National Science Foundation (BES# 0348412).


  • Biocatalysis
  • Biosynthesis
  • Cofactor regeneration
  • Enzyme immobilization
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Oxidoreductases


Dive into the research topics of 'Cofactor regeneration for sustainable enzymatic biosynthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this