Synthesis of α-hydroxy ketones and vicinal (R,R)-diols by Bacillus clausii DSM 8716T butanediol dehydrogenase†
α-hydroxy ketones (HK) and 1,2-diols are important building blocks for fine chemical synthesis. Here, we describe the R-selective 2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase from B. clausii DSM 8716T (BcBDH) that belongs to the metal-dependent medium chain dehydrogenases/reductases family (MDR) and catalyzes the selective asymmetric reduction of prochiral 1,2-diketones to the corresponding HK and, in some cases, the reduction of the same to the corresponding 1,2-diols. Aliphatic diketones, like 2,3-pentanedione, 2,3-hexanedione, 5-methyl-2,3-hexanedione, 3,4-hexanedione and 2,3-heptanedione are well transformed. In addition, surprisingly alkyl phenyl dicarbonyls, like 2-hydroxy-1-phenylpropan-1-one and phenylglyoxal are accepted, whereas their derivatives with two phenyl groups are not substrates. Supplementation of Mn2+ (1 mM) increases BcBDH's activity in biotransformations. Furthermore, the biocatalytic reduction of 5-methyl-2,3-hexanedione to mainly 5-methyl-3-hydroxy-2-hexanone with only small amounts of 5-methyl-2-hydroxy-3-hexanone within an enzyme membrane reactor is demonstrated.