Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Bioconversion of butyronitrile to butyramide using whole cells of Rhodococcus rhodochrous PA-34.

PMID 17216468


Butyramide is an important chemical commodity, which is used for the synthesis of hydroxamic acids and electrorheological fluids and for the preparation of beta-amodoorganotin compounds. The nitrile hydratase (Nhase) of Rhodococcus rhodochrous PA-34 catalyzed the conversion of butyronitrile to butyramide. The maximum Nhase activity [18 U/mg dry cell weight (dcw)] of whole cells of R. rhodochrous PA-34 was observed at pH 7.0 with 10% (v/v) butyronitrile and 1 mg cells (dcw)/ml reaction mixture at 10 degrees C. The cells of R. rhodochrous PA-34 retained almost 50% activity when incubated for 1 h in the presence of 85% (v/v) butyronitrile. A yield of 597 g of butyramide (6.8 M) was obtained using 60% (v/v) butyronitrile, 1 g cells (dry weight) in a 1-l batch reaction at 10 degrees C for 6 h.