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Library of norcoclaurine synthases and their immobilization for biocatalytic transformations

22:57 EST 10 Nov 2017 | Wiley Biotechnology Journal

Norcoclaurine synthases (NCS), catalyzing a Pictet‐Spengler reaction in plants as one of the first enzymes in the biosynthetic benzylisoquinoline pathway, were investigated for biocatalytic transformations. The library of norcoclaurine synthases available was extended by two novel NCSs from Argemone mexicana (AmNCS1, AmNCS2) and one new NCS from Corydalis saxicola (CsNCS); furthermore, it was shown that the NCS from Papaver bracteatum (PbNCS) is a highly productive catalyst leading to the isoquinoline product with up to >99% e.e. Under certain conditions lyophilized whole E. coli cells containing the various overexpressed NCS turned out to be suitable catalysts. The reaction using dopamine as substrate bears several challenges such as the spontaneous non‐stereoselective background reaction and side reactions. The PbNCS enzyme was successfully immobilized on various carriers whereby EziG3 proved to be the best suited for biotransformations. Dopamine showed limited stability in solution resulting in the coating of the catalyst over time, which could be solved by the addition of ascorbic acid (e.g. 1 mg/ml) as antioxidant.

Original Article: Library of norcoclaurine synthases and their immobilization for biocatalytic transformations

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