The Journal of General and Applied Microbiology
Online ISSN : 1349-8037
Print ISSN : 0022-1260
ISSN-L : 0022-1260
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Identification of a newly isolated Sphingomonas sp. LZ1 and its application to biosynthesize chiral alcohols
Nengqiang WangZhen LuoKaiqin LiYingcui XuCheng Peng
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2020 Volume 66 Issue 5 Pages 289-296


A strain LZ1, which showed efficient asymmetric reduction of 3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl) acetophenone to enantiopure (S)-[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ethanol, which is the key intermediate for the synthesis of a receptor antagonist and antidepressant, was isolated from a soil sample. Based on its morphological, 16S rDNA sequence, and phylogenetic analysis, the strain LZ1 was identified to be Sphingomonas sp. LZ1. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of the species Sphingomonas exhibiting stricter S-enantioselectivity and its use for the asymmetric reduction of 3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl) acetophenone. Some key reaction parameters involved in the bioreduction catalyzed by whole cells of Sphingomonas sp. LZ1 were subsequently optimized, and the optimized conditions for the synthesis of (S)-[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ethanol were determined to be as follows: phosphate buffer pH 7.5, 70 mM of 3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl) acetophenone, 30 g/L of glucose as a co-substrate, 300 g (wet weight)/L of resting cell as the biocatalyst, and a reaction for 24 h at 30°C and 180 rpm. Under the above conditions, a best yield of 94% and an excellent enantiomeric excess of 99.6% were obtained, respectively. Sphingomonas sp. LZ1 could also asymmetrically reduce a variety of prochiral ketones to their corresponding optical alcohols with excellent enantioselectivity. These results indicated that Sphingomonas sp. LZ1 had a remarkable capacity to reduce 3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)acetophenone to its corresponding (S)-[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ethanol, and might be a new potential biocatalyst for the production of valuable chiral alcohols in industry.

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