Jialing Wang, Zhuangzhuang Huang, Haodong Xu, Yong Nian, Bin Wu, Bingfang He, Gerhard Schenk

Discovery and Mechanistic Understanding of a Lipase from Rhizorhabdus dicambivorans for Efficient Ester Aminolysis in Aromatic Amines

  • General Energy
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry

The formation of amide bonds via aminolysis of esters by lipases generates a diverse range of amide frameworks in biosynthetic chemistry. Few lipases have satisfactory activity towards bulky aromatic amines despite numerous attempts to improve the efficiency of this transformation. Here, we report the discovery of a new intracellular lipase (Ndbn) with a broad substrate scope. Ndbn turns over a range of esters and aromatic amines in the presence of water (2%; v/v), producing a high yield of multiple valuable amides. Remarkably, a higher conversion rate was observed for the synthesis of amides from substrates with aromatic amine rather than aliphatic amines. Molecular dynamics (MD) and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) studies showcase the mechanism for the preference for aromatic amines, including a more suitable orientation, shorter catalytic distances in the active site pocket and a lower reaction barrier for aromatic than for aliphatic amines. This unique lipase is thus a promising biocatalyst for the efficient synthesis of aromatic amides.

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