Biocatalysis offers an alternative to classic chemistry by using enzymes, the protein catalysts of Nature, for production of fine chemicals. Evolution has created enzymes capable of catalysis at moderate temperature of a specific reaction in the presence of a plethora of compounds in the aqueous cell environment. The focal point of biocatalysis is to utilise these traits in vitro, for creation of valuable molecules.
The ω-transaminase is an enzyme capable of producing chiral amines, compounds used to great extent in pharmaceuticals. Much effort has in recent years been invested in the research and engineering of this enzyme type since the catalysed reaction offers an advantageous alternative to classical techniques. Nevertheless, there is a need for method development, adaptation of the enzyme and increased understanding of the catalytic mechanism for feasibility as an effective biocatalyst for unnatural substrates. This thesis addresses a chosen set of obstacles as a contribution to meeting the demands at hand. ω-Transaminase from Chromobacterium violaceum and Arthrobacter citreus was used.
Many homologous ω-transaminases are available, which are also subject to engineering where variants are produced. To accurately compare their kinetic constants an active site quantification method is required but has not been available. Here such a method is presented (Paper 1) which encompasses a virtually irreversible half transamination reaction.
In stereoselective synthesis the ω-transaminase catalysed equilibrium reaction inherently results in incomplete conversion. An equilibrium displacement system is presented (Paper II) where isopropylamine is the amino donor for transamination of acetophenone and derivatives thereof, coupled to an enzymatic cascade reaction.
For many unnatural substrates the specificity and enantiospecificity is insufficient. Rationally redesigned variants were produced with improved properties for chosen substrates (Paper III and IV). The catalytic contributions of field and resonance of a variant compared to the wild type were investigated (Paper IV) for increased knowledge of the mechanism.
For rational redesign of an enzyme the three-dimensional structure is required, of which only a few are available for the ω-transaminases. X-ray crystallographic structures of the holo and apo form of Chromobacterium violaceum ω-transaminase were made (Paper V) which revealed significant structural rearrangements upon coenzyme binding which may be of consequence for future engineering.
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , x, 57 p.
2012-04-20, FR4 (Oscar Kleins Auditorium) AlbaNova, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)