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Discovery and characterization of a 5-hydroxymethylfurfural oxidase from Methylovorus sp. strain MP688

, : Discovery and characterization of a 5-hydroxymethylfurfural oxidase from Methylovorus sp. strain MP688. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80(3): 1082-1090

In the search for useful and renewable chemical building blocks, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) has emerged as a very promising candidate, as it can be prepared from sugars. HMF can be oxidized to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), which is used as a substitute for petroleum-based terephthalate in polymer production. On the basis of a recently identified bacterial degradation pathway for HMF, candidate genes responsible for selective HMF oxidation have been identified. Heterologous expression of a protein from Methylovorus sp. strain MP688 in Escherichia coli and subsequent enzyme characterization showed that the respective gene indeed encodes an efficient HMF oxidase (HMFO). HMFO is a flavin adenine dinucleotide-containing oxidase and belongs to the glucose-methanol-choline-type flavoprotein oxidase family. Intriguingly, the activity of HMFO is not restricted to HMF, as it is active with a wide range of aromatic primary alcohols and aldehydes. The enzyme was shown to be relatively thermostable and active over a broad pH range. This makes HMFO a promising oxidative biocatalyst that can be used for the production of FDCA from HMF, a reaction involving both alcohol and aldehyde oxidations.


PMID: 24271187

DOI: 10.1128/AEM.03740-13

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