Volume 64 (2017) Issue 4 Pages 99-107
3-Keto-levoglucosan (3ketoLG) has been postulated to be the product of a reaction catalyzed by levoglucosan dehydrogenase (LGDH), a bacterial enzyme involved in the metabolism of levoglucosan (LG). To investigate the LG metabolic pathway catalyzed by LGDH, 3ketoLG is needed. However, 3ketoLG has not been successfully isolated from the LGDH reaction. This study investigated the ability of pyranose oxidase to convert LG into 3ketoLG by oxidizing the C3 hydroxyl group. During the oxidation of LG, 3ketoLG was spontaneously crystallized in the reaction mixture. Starting with 500 mM LG, the isolation yield of 3ketoLG was 80 %. Nuclear magnetic resonance analyses revealed that a part of 3ketoLG dimerized in aqueous solution, explaining its poor solubility. Even under normal conditions, 3ketoLG was unstable in aqueous solution, with a half-life of 16 h at pH 7.0 and 30 °C. The decomposition proceeded through β-elimination of the C–O bonds at both C1 and C5, as evidenced by decomposition products. This instability explains the difficulty in obtaining 3ketoLG via the LGDH reaction.