Applied Biochemistry / DSM Biotechnology Center

The Applied Biochemistry group at the DSM Biotechnology Center

DSM is a Life Sciences and Material Sciences company, employing approximately 24.000 people with a yearly turnover around 10,000 M€. The DSM Biotechnology Center in Delft with 400 employees is the Biotech competence center of DMS and hosts a broad range of specialisms, including Biochemistry, Applications, Genetics and BioIT, Analytics and Bioprocessing. The on-site presence of the Bio Pilot Facility is of great benefit for scaling-up processes in development.

Dr. Marco van den Berg is Principal Scientist in Applied Biochemistry and Screening, with expertise in the application of enzymes in industrial processes, either inside a cell or in a complex matrix. His focus is on identifying the limitations of current processes and opportunities for new processes. This includes (1) which enzymes could perform a certain reaction; (2) which substrates are available at the right quality, quantity and cost; (3) what are the optimal conditions for the enzymes to function in the high intensity processes of industrial applications. Key is to understand substrate-enzyme interactions; the role (and supply) of cofactors; control by oxygen, pH, temperature, ion-strength, etc; and stability of the enzymes (thermostability, protease-resistance, oxidations, etc).

Recent findings in oxygen-dependent enzymes include structural elucidation of copper amine oxidase in the oxidation of the amine side chains of lysine residues peptides and proteins, substrate tuning of P450 monooxygenase in the production of pravastatin and steering lignocellulose hydrolysis. Van den Berg has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and his work led to a similar number of patent applications. He participated/s in various national and international Public Private Partnerships, some more fundamental and some more applied research.

Recent top publications

  1. Schooneveld MEF, van den Berg MA (2015) Challenges in Producing a Fermentable Sugar Syrup from Second Generation Feedstocks. Curr. Biotechnnol. 4(2):157-186
  2. McLean KJ, Hans M, Meijrink B, van Scheppingen WB, Vollebregt A, Tee KL, van der Laan JM, Leys D, Munro AW, van den Berg MA. (2015) Single-step fermentative production of the cholesterol-lowering drug pravastatin via reprogramming of Penicillium chrysogenum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 112(9):2847-2852.
  3. Minten IJ, Abello N, Schooneveld-Bergmans ME, van den Berg MA (2014) Post-production modification of industrial enzymes. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 98(14):6215-6231.
  4. McGrath AP, Mithieux SM, Collyer CA, Bakhuis JG, van den Berg M, Sein A, Heinz A, Schmelzer C, Weiss AS, Guss JM. (2011) Structure and activity of Aspergillus nidulans copper amine oxidase. Biochemistry 50(25):5718-5730.