Activity and stability of different immobilized preparations of recombinant E. coli cells containing ω-transaminase

Gustav Rehn, Carl Grey, Cecilia Branneby, Lina Lindberg, Patrick Adlercreutz

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Production of chiral amines using ω-transaminases has been thoroughly studied in recent years. Immobilized ω-transaminases, however, have been used on relatively few occasions despite potential benefits such as reuse of enzyme and ease of product purification. In this study principally different methods including surface immobilization, entrapment and sweep flocculation using titanium oxide, Ca-alginate and chitosan respectively were evaluated for the immobilization of recombinant Escherichia coli cells. The enzyme expressed was a modified Arthrobacter citreus ω-transaminase with improved thermostability. The preparations were compared in terms of cell loading capacity, operational stability in repeated batches and storage stability using the conversion of methylbenzylamine to acetophenone. The use of chitosan for cell immobilization proved to be the method of choice since it was both very simple and effective. At a very high cell loading of 3.2 g cells/g chitosan >60% activity was observed. The preparation was reused in eight successive 1-h batches with >90% remaining activity. To further demonstrate its usability the preparation was used for asymmetric synthesis of (S)-4′-cyano-(α)-methylbenzylamine in three repeated bathes (cycle time >20 h), using isopropylamine as the amine donor. Storage stability was comparable with that of non-immobilized cells. It was concluded that the chitosan method due to its properties and simplicity would be advantageous for use also on a larger scale. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProcess Biochemistry
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1129-1134
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • ω-Transaminase
  • Alginate
  • Chiral amines
  • Chitosan
  • Immobilization
  • Methylbenzylamine
  • Titanium oxide
  • Acetophenones
  • Arthrobacter
  • Asymmetric synthesis
  • Ca-alginate
  • Cell loading
  • Cycle time
  • Isopropylamine
  • Operational stability
  • Potential benefits
  • Product purification
  • Recombinant E. coli
  • Recombinant Escherichia coli
  • Repeated batch
  • Storage stability
  • Surface immobilization
  • Amines
  • Enzymes
  • Escherichia coli
  • Flocculation
  • Ketones
  • Radioactive waste vitrification
  • Stability
  • Titanium
  • Titanium oxides
  • Cell immobilization
  • Arthrobacter citreus


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