Simultaneous enzyme/Whole-Cell biotransformation of plant oils into C9 carboxylic acids

Eun Yeong Jeon, Joo Hyun Seo, Woo Ri Kang, Min Ji Kim, Jung Hoo Lee, Deok Kun Oh, Jin Byung Park

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52 Scopus citations


Oxyfunctionalization of plant oils such as olive oil and soybean oil into C9 carboxylic acids (e.g., n-nonanoic acid and 9-hydroxynonanoic acid) was investigated. The biotransformation was composed of hydrolysis of plant oils by the Thermomyces lanuginosus lipase (TLL) and C9−C10 double-bond cleavage in unsaturated fatty acids by a serial reaction of a fatty acid double bond-hydratase of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, an alcohol dehydrogenase of Micrococcus luteus, and a Baeyer−Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 expressed in Escherichia coli. The newly cloned oleate hydratase allowed one to produce 10-hydroxyoctadecanoic acid and 10-hydroxyoctadec-12-enoic acid at a high rate from oleic acid and linoleic acid, respectively, which are major fatty acid constituents of many plant oils. Furthermore, overexpression of a long chain fatty acid transporter FadL in the recombinant E. coli led to a significant increase of whole-cell biotransformation rates of oleic acid and linoleic acid into the corresponding esters. The resulting esters (the BVMO reaction products) were hydrolyzed in situ by TLL, generating nonanoic acid, non-3-enoic acid, and 9-hydroxynonanoic acid, which can be further oxidized to 1,9-nonanedioic acid. This study demonstrated that industrially relevant C9 carboxylic acids could be produced from olive oil or soybean oil by simultaneous enzyme/whole-cell biocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7547-7553
Number of pages7
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number11
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Marine Biomaterials Research Center grant from the Marine Biotechnology Program funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea (No. D11013214H480000100). J.-H.S. was partially supported by RP-Grant 2016 of Ewha Womans University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • 9-hydroxynonanoic acid
  • FadL
  • Oleate hydratase
  • Olive oil
  • Simultaneous enzyme/whole-cell biocatalysis
  • Soybean oil


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