Analytical biochemistry

Validation of a general method for activity estimation of cyanide evolving oxidoreductases.

PMID 25447496


Ethylene is a key molecule in organic synthesis currently produced by steam cracking of fossil hydrocarbons. In nature, ethylene is produced in higher plants by 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase (ACCO). Biocatalytic alternatives for ethylene production are still far from being competitive with traditional production plants. Furthermore, data dispersion shown in the literature adds uncertainty to the introduction of ACCO as a biocatalyst, especially when larger numbers of isoforms or mutants are to be compared. Here we propose a new method for measuring ACCO activity based on cyanide detection. Data provided here indicate that cyanide detection is more precise, more responsive, and much more stable than any other method tested for ACCO activity estimation so far. Briefly, enzymatically produced cyanide can be detected by its derivatization with naphthalene-2,3-dicarboxyaldehide (NDA) to generate 1-cyanobenz[f]isoindole (CBI), which is further detected by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with a fluorescence detector. Cyanide can be detected in the range between 0.99 and 60.17pmol, which is three orders of magnitude more sensitive than the currently used ethylene estimation method.