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Engineering Cofactor Preference of Ketone Reducing Biocatalysts: A Mutagenesis Study on a γ-Diketone Reductase from the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Serving as an Example

By Michael Katzberg, Nàdia Skorupa-Parachin, Marie-Françoise Gorwa-Grauslund and Martin Bertau


The synthesis of pharmaceuticals and catalysts more and more relies on enantiopure chiral building blocks. These can be produced in an environmentally benign and efficient way via bioreduction of prochiral ketones catalyzed by dehydrogenases. A productive source of these biocatalysts is the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, whose genome also encodes a reductase catalyzing the sequential reduction of the γ-diketone 2,5-hexanedione furnishing the diol (2S,5S)-hexanediol and the γ-hydroxyketone (5S)-hydroxy-2-hexanone in high enantio- as well as diastereoselectivity (ee and de >99.5%). This enzyme prefers NADPH as the hydrogen donating cofactor. As NADH is more stable and cheaper than NADPH it would be more effective if NADH could be used in cell-free bioreduction systems. To achieve this, the cofactor binding site of the dehydrogenase was altered by site-directed mutagenesis. The results show that the rational approach based on a homology model of the enzyme allowed us to generate a mutant enzyme having a relaxed cofactor preference and thus is able to use both NADPH and NADH. Results obtained from other mutants are discussed and point towards the limits of rationally designed mutants

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Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
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