Transaminase biocatalysis: optimization and application
Transaminases (TAs) are one of the most promising biocatalysts in organic synthesis for the preparation of chiral amino compounds. The concise reaction, excellent enantioselectivity, environmental friendliness and compatibility with other enzymatic or chemical systems have brought TAs to the attention of scientists working in the area of biocatalysis. However, to utilize TAs in a more efficient and economical way, attempts have to be made to optimize their performance. The demand for various substrate specificities, stability under non-physiological conditions and higher conversions in reversible reactions have been targeted and investigated thoroughly. A number of both protein- and process-based strategies have been developed to improve TAs and systems involving TAs. Moreover, by combination with other enzymes in cascade reactions or even in more complex systems, so called synthetic biology and systems biocatalysis, TAs can be biocatalysts with immense potential in the industrial production of high-value chemical products. This review will highlight strategies for optimization of TAs and will discuss a number of elegant systems for improving their performance. Transaminase biocatalysis has been, and will continue to be, one of the most interesting topics in green organic synthesis.