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Tuning of the product spectrum of vanillyl-alcohol oxidase by medium engineering

van den Heuvel, R.H.H. and Partridge, J. and Laane, C. and Halling, P.J. and van Berkel, W.J.H. (2001) Tuning of the product spectrum of vanillyl-alcohol oxidase by medium engineering. FEBS Letters, 503 (2-3). pp. 213-216. ISSN 0014-5793

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Abstract

The flavoenzyme vanillyl-alcohol oxidase (VAO) catalyzes the conversion of 4-alkylphenols through the initial formation of p-quinone methide intermediates. These electrophilic species are stereospecifically attacked by water to yield (R)-1-(4'- hydroxyphenyl) alcohols or rearranged in a competing reaction to 1-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)alkenes. Here, we show that the product spectrum of VAO can be controlled by medium engineering. When the enzymatic conversion of 4-propylphenol was performed in organic solvent, the concentration of the alcohol decreased and the concentration of the cis-alkene, but not the trans-alkene, increased. This change in selectivity occurred in both toluene and acetonitrile and was dependent on the water activity of the reaction medium. A similar shift in alcohol/cis-alkene product ratio was observed when the VAO-mediated conversion of 4- propylphenol was performed in the presence of monovalent anions that bind specifically near the enzyme active site. (C) 2001 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.