Asymmetric Whole-Cell Bio-Reductions of (R)-Carvone Using Optimized Ene Reductases
(2R,5R)-dihydrocarvone is an industrially applied building block that can be synthesized by site-selective and stereo-selective C=C bond bio-reduction of (R)-carvone. Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells overexpressing an ene reductase from Nostoc sp. PCC7120 (NostocER1) in combination with a cosubstrate regeneration system proved to be very effective biocatalysts for this reaction. However, the industrial applicability of biocatalysts is strongly linked to the catalysts' activity. Since the
... y. Since the cell-internal NADH concentrations are around 20-fold higher than the NADPH concentrations, we produced E. coli cells where the NADPH-preferring NostocER1 was exchanged with three different NADH-accepting NostocER1 mutants. These E. coli whole-cell biocatalysts were used in batch operated stirred-tank reactors on a 0.7 l-scale for the reduction of 300 mM (R)-carvone. 287 mM (2R,5R)-dihydrocarvone were formed within 5 h with a diasteromeric excess of 95.4% and a yield of 95.6%. Thus, the whole-cell biocatalysts were strongly improved by using NADH-accepting enzymes, resulting in an up to 2.1-fold increased initial product formation rate leading to a 1.8-fold increased space-time yield when compared to literature.