Biotechnology letters

Identification and characterization of epoxide hydrolase activity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria for biocatalytic resolution of racemic styrene oxide and styrene oxide derivatives.

PMID 23242500


A novel epoxide hydrolase (EHase) from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria was identified and characterized. EHase activity was identified in four strains of PAH-degrading bacteria isolated from commercial gasoline and oil-contaminated sediment based on their growth on styrene oxide and its derivatives, such as 2,3- and 4-chlorostyrene oxides, as a sole carbon source. Gordonia sp. H37 exhibited high enantioselective hydrolysis activity for 4-chlorostyrene oxide with an enantiomeric ratio of 27. Gordonia sp. H37 preferentially hydrolyzed the (R)-enantiomer of styrene oxide derivatives resulting in the preparation of a (S)-enantiomer with enantiomeric excess greater than 99.9 %. The enantioselective EHase activity was identified and characterized in various PAH-degrading bacteria, and whole cell Gordonia sp. H37 was employed as a biocatalyst for preparing enantiopure (S)-styrene oxide derivatives.