Department of Chemistry

The Sorlie group (Department of Chemistry, NMBU, Norway)

Professor Morten Sorlie is an expert in the area of enzymology with a focus on detailing mechanisms of carbohydrate active enzymes through the use of physicochemical methods. Obtained knowledge is transferred to improved conditions for enzymatic degradation of recalcitrant polysaccharides such as chitin and cellulose. Moreover, major efforts are put into turning the resulting products into compounds of value. Key findings are an increased molecular-level understanding of the GH processive mechanism, processivity slows down polysaccharide degradation, and the need for processivity can be alleviated by the use of LPMOs. The need of LPMOs for efficient polysaccharides were hypothesized in 1950 and discovered by the Eijsink and Sorlie groups in 2010. Now, the focus is to increase our understanding of LPMOs and translate this to better ways of converting raw material of abundance into something of high value.

Sorlie has published 90 peer-reviewed papers with >2,200 citations; his h-index is 25 (ISI web of science). He has been the project leader of several basic research projects as well as applied projects that has resulted in the establishment of a start-up company. The project is in collaboration with Vincent Eijsink (250 peer-reviewed papers, >9,500 citations, h-index 52, ISI web of science)

Recent top publications

  1. Vaaje-Kolstad, G.; Westereng, B.; Horn, S.J.; Liu, Z.; Zhai, H.; Sørlie, M.; Eijsink, V.G.H. “An oxidative enzyme boosting the enzymatic conversion of recalcitrant polysaccharides” Science, 2010, 330, 219-222.
  2. Aachmann, F.L.; Sørlie, M.; Skjåk-Bræk, G.; Eisjink, V.G.H.; Vaaje-Kolstad, B. “NMR structure of a CBM33-type lytic polysaccharide oxidase provides insight into copper-binding, protein dynamics and substrate interactions” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 2012, 109, 18779-18784.
  3. Forsberg, Z.; Røhr, A.K.; Mekasha, S.; Andersson, K.K.; Eijsink, V.G.H.; Vaaje-Kolstad, G.; Sørlie, M. “Comparative study of two chitin-active and two cellulose-active AA10-type lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases” Biochemistry, 2014, 53, 1647-1656.