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Oxalyl-CoA Decarboxylase Enables Nucleophilic One-Carbon Extension of Aldehydes to Chiral α-Hydroxy Acids.

Burgener, Simon; Cortina, Niña Socorro; Erb, Tobias J.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl; 2020 Jan 02.
Article in En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31894608
The synthesis of complex molecules from simple, renewable carbon units is the goal of a sustainable economy. Here we explored the biocatalytic potential of the thiamine-diphosphate-dependent (ThDP) oxalyl-CoA decarboxylase (OXC)/2-hydroxyacyl-CoA lyase (HACL) superfamily that naturally catalyzes the shortening of acyl-CoA thioester substrates through the release of the C1 -unit formyl-CoA. We show that the OXC/HACL superfamily contains promiscuous members that can be reversed to perform nucleophilic C1 -extensions of various aldehydes to yield the corresponding 2-hydroxyacyl-CoA thioesters. We improved the catalytic properties of Methylorubrum extorquens OXC by rational enzyme engineering and combined it with two newly described enzymes-a specific oxalyl-CoA synthetase and a 2-hydroxyacyl-CoA thioesterase. This enzymatic cascade enabled continuous conversion of oxalate and aromatic aldehydes into valuable (S)-α-hydroxy acids with enantiomeric excess up to 99 %.