A synthetic cascade for the transformation of primary alcohols into polyhydroxylated compounds in Escherichia coli, through the in situ preparation of cytotoxic aldehyde intermediates and subsequent aldolase-mediated C-C bond formation, has been investigated. An enzymatic toolbox consisting of alcohol dehydrogenase AlkJ from Pseudomonas putida and the dihydroxyacetone-/hydroxyacetone-accepting aldolase variant Fsa1-A129S was applied. Pathway optimization was performed at the genetic and process levels. Three different arrangements of the alkJ and fsa1-A129S genes in operon, monocistronic, and pseudo-operon configuration were tested. The last of these proved to be most beneficial with regard to bacterial growth and protein expression levels. The optimized whole-cell catalyst, combined with a refined solid-phase extraction downstream purification protocol, provides diastereomerically pure carbohydrate derivatives that can be isolated in up to 91 % yield over two reaction steps.
Keywords: alcohols; biocatalysis; domino reactions; enzymes; solid-phase extraction.
© 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.