Selective whole-cell biosynthesis of the designer drug metabolites 15- or 16-betahydroxynorethisterone by engineered Cytochrome P450 BM3 mutants

Jelle Reinen, Galvin Vredenburg, Karoline Klaering, Nico P E Vermeulen, Jan N M Commandeur, Maarten Honing, J. Chris Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the present study, the whole-cell biotransformation using strains expressing CYP BM3 mutants has been evaluated for the stereoselective hydroxylation of the steroid norethisterone (NET), a widely used contraceptive. First, an in vitro CYP BM3 mutant library screen was performed to identify mutants with high activity, as well asstereoselectivity. Subsequently, two different whole-cell setups (resting and growing cells) were tested in two different host organisms (Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) expressing CYP BM3. It was found that resting E. coli whole cells produced the highest amounts of products and therefore this biocatalytic setup was further optimized for application in a laboratory-scale fermentor. In the optimized fermentor setup, high product yields (0.3 g/L 15β-OH-NET and 0.16 g/L 16β-OH-NET) were achieved while it was also shown that the regio- and stereoselectivities of the steroid hydroxylations, as determined during the in vitro library screen, were preserved in the whole-cell system. The combination of a mutant CYP BM3 library and the optimized whole-cell oxidation system represents a promising and cost-effective alternative to a wide range of in vitro biosynthetic routes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3212
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Catalysis B. Enzymatic
Volume121
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Biotechnology
  • Cytochrome P450 BM3
  • Norethisterone
  • Stereo- and regioselectivity
  • Whole-cell biocatalysis

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