Journal of microbiology and biotechnology

A new strategy to improve the efficiency and sustainability of Candida parapsilosis catalyzing deracemization of (R,S)-1-phenyl-1,2-ethanediol under non-growing conditions: increase of NADPH availability.

PMID 19190410


Microbial oxidoreductive systems have been widely used in asymmetric syntheses of optically active alcohols. However, when reused in multi-batch reaction, the catalytic efficiency and sustainability of non-growing cells usually decreased because of continuous consumption of required cofactors during the reaction process. A novel method for NADPH regeneration in cells was proposed by using pentose metabolism in microorganisms. Addition of D-xylose, L-arabinose, or D-ribose to the reaction significantly improved the conversion efficiency of deracemization of racemic 1-phenyl-1,2-ethanediol to (S)-isomer by Candida parapsilosis cells already used once, which afforded the product with high optical purity over 97%e.e. in high yield over 85% under an increased substrate concentration of 15 g/l. Compared with reactions without xylose, xylose added to multi-batch reactions had no influence on the activity of the enzyme catalyzing the key step in deracemization, but performed a promoting effect on the recovery of the metabolic activity of the non-growing cells with its consumption in each batch. The detection of activities of xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase from cell-free extract of C. parapsilosis made xylose metabolism feasible in cells, and the depression of the pentose phosphate pathway inhibitor to this reaction further indicated that xylose facilitated the NADPH-required deracemization through the pentose phosphate pathway in C. parapsilosis. moreover, by investigating the cofactor pool, the xylose addition in reaction batches giving more NADPH, compared with those without xylose, suggested that the higher catalytic efficiency and sustainability of C. parapsilosis non-growing cells had resulted from xylose metabolism recycling NADPH for the deracemization.