Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt: Construction of a recombinant biocatalyst for the production of phenylacetic acids and phenylethanols from styrenes

Sarah Hofmann, Anna Drechsel, Michael Schlömann, and Michel Oelschlägel


Numerous soil bacteria have been reported to be able to metabolize styrene via the pathway of sidechain oxygenation. This pathway comprises a styrene monooxygenase (SMO), which oxidizes styrene to styrene oxide, a styrene oxide isomerase (SOI), which converts styrene oxide into phenylacetaldehyde, and a phenylacetaldehyde dehydrogenase (PAD). The latter enzyme enables the oxidation of the aldehyde to the central metabolite phenylacetic acid [1]. In this study the construction of a recombinant biocatalyst under consideration of suitable SMOs, SOIs and PADs was intended because this pathway is of potential relevance for the biotechnological production of phenylacetic acids and similar compounds.

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