Anaerobic phthalate degradation
Hi I’m Robin!
In my project, I am investigating the anaerobic degradation of phthalates (especially ortho-phthalate). Phthalates end up in nature in tremendous amounts due to the extensive use of plasticizers in various types of plastic polymers. To get more insight in the anaerobic microbial degradation of these xenobiotic compounds, I cultivate bacteria that fully degrade phthalates anaerobically, and isolate and characterize the intriguing novel enzymology involved. In particular, phthaloyl-CoA decarboxylase with an active site prenylated cofactor is in the center of my interest. We are currently characterizing the enzyme by applying numerous biochemical, kinetic and structural methodologies.