Evolving P450pyr Monooxygenase for Regio- and Stereoselective Hydroxylations


  • Yi Yang National University of Singapore, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, Singapore 117585, Singapore
  • Zhi Li National University of Singapore, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, 4 Engineering Drive 4, Singapore 117585, Singapore. chelz@nus.edu.sg




Biocatalysis, C-h activation, Directed evolution, Hydroxylation, P450 monooxygenase


P450pyr monooxygenase from Sphingomonas sp. HXN-200 catalysed the regio- and stereoselective hydroxylation at a non-activated carbon atom, a useful but challenging reaction in classic chemistry, with unique substrate specificity for a number of alicyclic compounds. New P450pyr mutants were developed by directed evolution with improved catalytic performance, thus significantly extending the application of the P450pyr monooxygenase family in biohydroxylation to prepare useful and valuable chiral alcohols. Directed evolution of P450pyr created new enzymes with improved S-enantioselectivity or R-enantioselectivity for the hydroxylation of N-benzyl pyrrolidine, enhanced regioselectivity for the hydroxylation of N-benzyl pyrrolidinone, and increased enantioselectivity for the hydroxylation of N-benzyl piperidinone, respectively. Directed evolution of P450pyr generated also mutants with fully altered regioselectivity (from terminal to subterminal) and newly created excellent S-enantioselectivity for the biohydroxylation of n-octane and propylbenzene, respectively, providing new opportunities for the regio- and enantioselective alkane functionalization. New P450pyr mutants were engineered as the first catalyst for highly selective terminal hydroxylation of n-butanol to 1,4-butanediol. Several novel, accurate, sensitive, simple, and HTS assays based on colorimetric or MS detection for measuring the enantio- and/or regioselectivity of hydroxylation were developed and proven to be practical in directed evolution. The P450pyr X-ray structure was obtained and used to guide the evolution. In silico modelling and substrate docking provided some insight into the influence of several important amino acid mutations of the engineered P450pyr mutants on the altered or enhanced regio- and enantioselectivity as well as new substrate acceptance. The obtained information and knowledge is useful for further engineering of P450pyr for other hydroxylations and oxidations.




How to Cite

Y. Yang, Z. Li, Chimia 2015, 69, 136, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2015.136.