Isolation and expression of a Bacillus cereus gene encoding benzil reductase

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2001 Dec 20;75(6):630-3. doi: 10.1002/bit.1191.


Benzil was reduced stereospecifically to (S)-benzoin by Bacillus cereus strain Tim-r01. To isolate the gene responsible for asymmetric reduction, we constructed a library consisting of Escherichia coli clones that harbored plasmids expressing Bacillus cereus genes. The library was screened using the halo formation assay, and one clone showed benzil reduction to (S)-benzoin. Thus, this clone seemed to carry a plasmid encoding a Bacillus cereus benzil reductase. The deduced amino acid sequence had marked homologies to the Bacillus subtilis yueD protein (41% identity), the yeast open reading frame YIR036C protein (31%), and the mammalian sepiapterin reductases (28% to 30%), suggesting that benzil reductase is a novel short-chain de-hydrogenases/ reductase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / chemistry
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / genetics*
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacillus cereus / enzymology
  • Bacillus cereus / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenylglyoxal / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylglyoxal / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • benzil reductase
  • Phenylglyoxal
  • benzil