REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0177.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: hydrogen; biocatalysis; metalloenzymes; spectroscopy; biodiversity
Online: 12 April 2020 (04:06:03 CEST)
Even 20 years after the first crystal structures of [FeFe]-hydrogenase have been published, several aspects of biological hydrogen turnover are heatedly discussed. In this perspective, we give an overview on how the diversity of naturally occurring and artificially prepared, semi-synthetic [FeFe]-hydrogenases deepens our understanding of hydrogenase chemistry. In parallel, we cover new results from biophysical techniques that go beyond the scope of conventional electrochemistry, X-ray diffraction, EPR, and FTIR spectroscopy. Taking into account both proton transfer and electron transfer as well as the notorious sensitivity of [FeFe]-hydrogenases towards carbon monoxide, the discussion further touches upon the molecular proceedings of biological hydrogen turnover.
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Silicatein; condensation; silyl ether; organosiloxane; biocatalysis
Online: 28 June 2021 (13:43:42 CEST)
Silicatein-α (Silα), a hydrolytic enzyme derived from siliceous marine sponges, is one of the few enzymes in nature capable of catalysing the metathesis of silicon-oxygen bonds. It is therefore of interest as a possible biocatalyst for the synthesis of organosiloxanes. To further investigate the substrate scope of this enzyme, a series of condensation reactions with a variety of phenols and aliphatic alcohols were carried out. In general, it was observed that Silα demonstrated a preference for phenols, though the conversions were relatively modest in most cases. In the two pairs of chiral alcohols that were investigated, it was found that the enzyme displayed a preference for the silylation of the S-enantiomers. Additionally, the enzyme’s tolerance to a range of solvents was tested. Silα had the highest level of substrate conversion in the non-polar solvents n-octane and toluene, although the inclusion of up to 20% of 1,4-dioxane was tolerated. These results suggest that Silα is a potential candidate for directed evolution towards future application as a robust and selective bi-ocatalyst for organosiloxane chemistry.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: resting cells; biocatalysis; cofactor regeneration; transcriptome; biotransformations
Online: 17 July 2020 (16:17:19 CEST)
Growing cells is the typical mode of operation in many aspects of biotechnology and metabolic engineering. This comes about due to cell growth processes creating a driving force that pull metabolic flux along different metabolic pathways, that indirectly help move substrate to product. But, there is an alternative mode of operation that uses resting (non-growing) cells to achieve similar or even higher productivities. In general, resting cells are provided with carbon substrates for biocatalytic reactions but starved of nitrogen or phosphorus. Such resting cells have been usefully employed in many forms of biocatalysis and biotransformation, with or without cofactor regeneration. However, much remains unknown about the transcriptome and metabolome of resting cells in biotransformation settings. This short writeup provides the backdrop of resting cells in biocatalysis, documents their use in biotransformation with application examples, and identifies research gaps that could be filled with contemporary RNA-seq and mass spectrometry proteomics technology. Overall, utility of resting cells in biocatalysis and the extant knowledge gap in their fundamental physiology are highlighted in this resource.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0034.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: hydrogen; biocatalysis; hydride chemistry; photochemistry; infrared spectroscopy
Online: 3 July 2020 (12:12:12 CEST)
Hydrogenases are iron-sulfur enzymes that catalyze proton reduction and H2 oxidation with outstanding efficiency. They are considered blueprints for the design of transition metal complexes, e.g. as heterogenous catalysts in the context of H2 production from water. Moreover, hydrogenases are biological model systems for metal hydride chemistry and proton-coupled electron transfer. Depending on the composition of the active site cofactor, [NiFe]-hydrogenases are distinguished from [FeFe]-hydrogenases. The former binds a hetero bimetallic nickel/iron site, embedded in the protein by four cysteine ligands. The later, by contrast, carries a homo bimetallic iron/iron site attached to the protein by only a single cysteine. Carbon monoxide and cyanide ligands (CO/CN) at the active site facilitated detailed investigations of hydrogenase catalysis by infrared spectroscopy, owing to strong signals and redox-dependent frequency shifts. However, the details of proton transfer have not been addressed experimentally.We found that specific redox state transitions in [NiFe]- and [FeFe]-hydrogenase can be triggered by visible light to record extremely sensitive ‘light-minus-dark’ infrared difference spectra monitoring key amino acid residues as shown in the ToC figure. As these transitions are coupled to protonation changes, our data allowed investigating dynamic hydrogen-bonding changes that go well beyond the resolution of protein crystallography. In [NiFe]-hydrogenase, photolysis of the bridging hydride ligand in the ‘Ni-C’ state was followed by rapid accumulation of the ‘Ni-SIa’ state and/or ‘Ni-L’ state. Infrared difference spectra in various isotopic media clearly indicated the formation of a protonated cysteine residue as well as hydrogen-bonding changes involving the COOH group of a glutamic acid residue and a ‘dangling water’ molecule. These findings are in excellent agreement with crystallographic analyses of [NiFe]-hydrogenase in the Ni-R state and allowed devising a molecular precise model of catalytic proton transfer. In [FeFe]-hydrogenase, an external redox dye was used to accumulate the ‘Hred’ state over the oxidized resting state ‘Hox’. Infrared difference spectra of wild-type enzyme and numerous amino acid variants indicated hydrogen-bonding changes involving the COOH groups of two glutamic acid residues. Moreover, we noted the deprotonation of an arginine residue. Crystallographic analyses of [FeFe]-hydrogenase in the Hox state failed to explain the rapid proton transfer due to a ‘breach’ in the succession of residues. To this end, our findings facilitated a molecular precise model of ‘discontinued’ proton transfer.The comparison of catalytic proton transfer in bimetallic hydrogenases emphasizes the role of the outer coordination sphere. We suggest that the stable protonation of a nickel-ligating cysteine in [NiFe]-hydrogenase has a crucial influence on the preferred direction of proton flow and catalysis (i.e., H2 oxidation). On the contrary, proton transfer in [FeFe]-hydrogenase involves an adjacent cysteine as a relay group that promotes both proton release and proton uptake. We presume that this causes the notable bidirectionality of [FeFe]-hydrogenase. These observations must guide the design of biomimetic compounds for the production or consumption of H2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0053.v2
Subject: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Keywords: chiral amines; biocatalysis; silica monolith; enzyme immobilization; flow chemistry
Online: 13 February 2017 (09:02:56 CET)
ω-Transaminases have been immobilized on macrocellular silica monoliths and used as heterogeneous biocatalysts in a continuous flow mode enantioselective transamination reaction. The support was prepared by a sol-gel method based on emulsion templating. The enzyme was immobilized on the structured silica monoliths both by adsorption, and by covalent grafting using amino-functionalized silica monoliths and glutaraldehyde as a coupling agent. A simple reactor set-up based on the use of a heat-shrinkable Teflon tube is presented and successfully used for the continuous flow kinetic resolution of a chiral amine, 4-bromo-α-methylbenzylamine. The porous structure of the supports ensures effective mass transfer and the reactor works in the plug flow regime without preferential flow paths. When immobilized in the monolith and used in the flow reactor, transaminases retain their activity and their enantioselectivity. The solid biocatalyst is also shown to be stable both on stream and during storage. These essential features pave the way to the successful development of an environmentally friendly process for chiral amines production.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0558.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: chitosan; chitin; biological activit; drug delivery; antioxidant; antimicrobial; biocatalysis; nanoparticles
Online: 31 August 2021 (11:07:28 CEST)
Chitosan arouses large interest due to its properties and possible applications. Every year the number of publications and patents based on this polymer increases. Chitosan exhibits poor solubility in neutral and basic media limiting its use in such conditions. Another serious obstacle is directly related to its natural origin. Chitosan is not a single polymer with a defined structure but a family of molecules with differences in their composition, size, and monomer distribution. These properties have a fundamental effect on the biological and technological performance of the polymer. Moreover, some of the biological properties claimed are discrete. In this review, we discuss how chitosan chemistry can solve the problems related to its poor solubility and can boost the polymer properties. We focus on some of the main biological properties of chitosan and the relationship with the physicochemical properties of the polymer. Then, we visit two polymer applications related to green processes: the use of chitosan in the green synthesis of metallic na-noparticles and its use as support in biocatalyst. Finally, we briefly describe how making use of the technological properties of chitosan it is possible to develop a variety of systems for drug delivery
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: NADH cofactor regeneration; ethylene glycol utilization; biocatalysis; atom economy; enzyme kinetics
Online: 2 September 2020 (09:56:19 CEST)
Although cofactor regeneration is an established system in biocatalysis, work remains in developing new and alternative cofactor regeneration systems with greater efficiency, ease of use, and higher atom economy. In addition, cofactor regeneration system only works if the cofactor regeneration reaction operates at similar kinetics compared to the biotransformation reaction. This meant that only specific cofactor regeneration system is capable of coupling with particular biotransformation reaction. This then leaves open the field for the development of a plethora of alternative cofactor regeneration systems each capable of coupling with different biotransformation reaction of different kinetics. This short write-up examines the possibility of tapping on the NADH regenerated from a two-step ethylene glycol utilization pathway. Current knowledge suggests that this angle has not been explored; thereby, opening up possibilities for future experimental investigations into the feasibility of coupling ethylene glycol utilization pathway with biotransformation reaction as a coupled cofactor regeneration system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0600.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Keywords: lipase; biocatalysis; Wieland-Miescher ketone; biocatalyst screening; amylase; peptidase; enantiomeric excess; Robinson Annulation
Online: 27 August 2020 (08:37:44 CEST)
Lipases, a versatile class of biocatalysts, have been shown to function in non-aqueous media/organic solvents and to possess promiscuous catalytic activity for a wide range of organic transformations. In this study, we explore the biocatalytic properties of a library of commercially available lipases by screening them for catalysis of a one-pot synthesis of Wieland-Miescher Ketone, an important intermediate in the synthesis of biologically active compounds such as steroids and terpenoids, from methyl vinyl ketone and 2-methyl-1,3-cyclohexanedione. As a direct outgrowth of this screen, we have created an optimized procedure for Wieland-Miescher Ketone (WMK) synthesis using crude lipase preparations, characterizing both reaction yield and enantiomeric excess. We have also identified principal components of the crude lipase mixture through proteomics and present evidence for a non-lipolytic origin of the observed catalysis. Finally, using the optimized conditions developed in this study, we propose a general absorbance-based screening methodology for assessing biocatalytic potential of crude enzyme preparations for synthesis of WMK.
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: biocatalysis; whole cells; cascade reactions; redox enzymes; monooxygenases; Baeyer-Villiger alcohol dehydrogenases; ene-reductases.
Online: 21 April 2021 (10:54:40 CEST)
Baeyer-Villiger monoxygenases (BVMOs) are flavin-dependant oxidative enzymes capable to catalyse the insertion of an oxygen atom between a carbonylic Csp2 and the Csp3 at the alpha position, therefore transforming linear and cyclic ketones into esters and lactones. These enzymes are dependent on nicotinamides (NAD(P)H) for the flavin reduction and subsequent reaction with molecular oxygen to furnish peroxyflavin, the ultimate responsible for the substrate oxidation. BVMOs can be included in cascade reactions, coupled to other redox enzymes such as alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) or ene-reductases (EREDs), so that the direct conversion of alcohols or α,β-unsaturated carbonylic compounds to the corresponding esters can be achieved. This way, it is possible to develop smart synthetic strategies with a convenient cofactor recycling, both using whole cells (native or genetically engineered) as well as isolated enzymes, via multi-steps reaction through sequential or parallel methodologies. Some examples will be commented dealing with these biotransformations, highlighting the advantages of the coupling of enzymatic steps.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0414.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural; Biocatalysis; 2,5-Di(hydroxymethyl)furan; Fusarium; Whole Cells; Biotransformation; Platform Chemical; Biomass; Bioreactor
Online: 21 January 2021 (10:14:47 CET)
2,5-Di(hydroxymethyl)furan (DHMF) is a high-value chemical block than can be synthesized from 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a platform chemical that results from the dehydration of biomass-derived carbohydrates. In this work, the HMF biotransformation capability of different Fusarium species was evaluated and F. striatum was selected to produce DHMF. The effects of the inoculum size, glucose concentration and pH of the media over DHMF production were evalu-ated by a 23 factorial design. A substrate feeding approach was found suitable to overcome the toxicity effect of HMF towards the cells when added at high concentrations (>75 mM). The pro-cess was successfully scaled-up at bioreactor scale (1.3 L) with excellent DHMF production yields (95%) and selectivities (98%). DHMF was purified from the reaction media with high recovery and purity by organic solvent extraction with ethyl acetate.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0124.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: lipases; Thermomyces lanuginosus; agroindustrial waste; hexyl laurate; lipase immobilization; biomass valorization; green chemistry; biocatalysis; mesoporous materials
Online: 3 March 2021 (10:07:48 CET)
As a consequence of intense industrialization in the last few decades, the amount of agro-industrial wastes has increasing, where new forms of valorization are crucial. In this work, 5 residual biomasses from Maranhão (Brazil) were investigted as supports for immobilization of lipase from Thermomyces lanuginosus (TLL). The new biocatalysts BM-TLL (babaçu mesocarp) and RH-TLL (rice husk) showed immobilization efficiencies >98% and hydrolytic activities of 5,331 U.g-1 and 4.608 U. g-1 respectively against 142 U. g-1 by Lipozyme® TL IM. High esterification activities were also found, with 141.4 U.g-1 and 396.4 U.g-1 from BM-TLL and RH-TLL against 113.5 U.g-1 by TL IM. Results of porosimetry, SEM and BET demonstrated BM and RH supports are mesoporous materials with large hydrophobic area, allowing a mixture of hydrophobic adsorption and confinement, resulting in hyperactivation of TLL. These biocatalysts were applied in the production of hexyl laurate, where RH-TLL was able to generate 94% conversion in 4 h. Desorption with Triton X-100 and NaCl confirmed that new biocatalysts were more efficient with 5 times less protein than commercial TL IM. All results demonstrated that residual biomass was able to produce robust and stable biocatalysts containing immobilized TLL with better results than commercial preparations.