W. Zhang, M. Ma, M. Huijbers, G. A. Filonenko, E. A. Pidko, M. van Schie, S. de Boer, B. O. Burek, J. Z. Bloh, W. J. H. van Berkel, W. A. Smith, F. Hollmann
JACS, 141 (2019), 3116–3120 , doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b12282
A recently discovered photodecarboxylase from Chlorella variabilis NC64A (CvFAP) bears the promise for the efficient and selective synthesis of hydrocarbons from carboxylic acids. CvFAP, however, exhibits a clear preference for long-chain fatty acids thereby limiting its broad applicability. In this contribution we demonstrate that the decoy molecule approach enables conversion of a broad range of carboxylic acids by filling up the vacant substrate access channel of the photodecarboxylase. These results not only demonstrate a practical application of a unique, photoactivated enzyme but also pave the way to selective production of short alkanes from waste carboxylic acids under mild reaction conditions.