Biochemical and structural characterization of a novel bacterial manganese-dependent hydroxynitrile lyase


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Abstract

Hydroxynitrile lyases (HNLs), which catalyse the decomposition of cyanohydrins, are found mainly in plants. In vitro, they are able to catalyse the synthesis of enantiopure cyanohydrins, which are versatile building blocks in the chemical industry. Recently, HNLs have also been discovered in bacteria. Here, we report on the detailed biochemical and structural characterization of a hydroxynitrile lyase from Granulicella tundricola (GtHNL), which was successfully heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. The crystal structure was solved at a crystallographic resolution of 2.5 Å and exhibits a cupin fold. As GtHNL does not show any sequence or structural similarity to any other HNL and does not contain conserved motifs typical of HNLs, cupins represent a new class of HNLs. GtHNL is metal-dependent, as confirmed by inductively coupled plasma/optical emission spectroscopy, and in the crystal structure, manganese is bound to three histidine and one glutamine residue. GtHNL displayed a specific activity of 1.74 U·mg−1 at pH 6 with (R)-mandelonitrile, and synthesized (R)-mandelonitrile with 90% enantiomeric excess at 80% conversion using 0.5 m benzaldehyde in a biphasic reaction system with methyl tertiary butyl ether.Hydroxynitrile lyases are used in biocatalysis to catalyse the synthesis of enantiopure cyanohydrins, which are versatile building blocks in chemical industry. We report on the detailed biochemical and structural characterisation of a metal-dependent HNL from Granulicella tundricola, which was successfully heterologously expressed in E. coli. The crystal structure was solved at a crystallographic resolution of 2.5 Å and exhibits a cupin fold.

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