A kinetic model for omega-transaminase from Bacillus thuringiensis JS64 was developed by using the King-Altman method to simulate the kinetic resolution of alpha-methylbenzylamine (alpha-MBA). Starting from a ping-pong bi-bi mechanism, a complete kinetic model including substrate inhibition only in the reverse reaction (i.e., transamination between acetophenone and L-alanine) was developed. The asymmetric synthesis of (S)-alpha-MBA proved to be difficult due to a much lower maximum reverse reaction rate than the maximum forward reaction rate, thermodynamically exergonic forward reaction (i.e., transamination between (S)-alpha-MBA and pyruvate), and the severe product and substrate inhibition of the reverse reaction. Experimental values for kinetic parameters show that the product inhibition constant of (S)-alpha-MBA is the most important parameter on determining the resolution reaction rate, suggesting that the resolution reaction rate will be very low unless (S)-alpha-MBA strongly inhibits the reverse reaction. Using the kinetic model, the kinetic resolution of alpha-MBA in aqueous buffer was simulated, and the simulation results showed a high degree of consistency with experimental data over a range of reaction conditions. Various simulation results suggest that the crucial bottleneck in the kinetic resolution of alpha-MBA lies mainly in the accumulation of acetophenone in reaction media as the reaction proceeds, whereas L-alanine exerts a little inhibitory effect on the reaction. The model predicts that removing acetophenone produced during the reaction can enhance the reaction rate dramatically. Indeed, the biphasic reaction system is capable of extracting acetophenone from the aqueous phase, showing a much higher reaction rate compared to a monophasic reaction system. The kinetic model was also useful in predicting the properties of other, better enzymes as well as the optimal concentrations of amino acceptor and enzyme in the resolution reaction.
Copyright 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.