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Structural and functional insights into asymmetric enzymatic dehydration of alkenols

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  • Bettina M Nestl
  • Christopher Geinitz
  • Stephanie Popa
  • Sari Rizek
  • Robert J Haselbeck
  • Rosary Stephen
  • Michael A Noble
  • Max-Philipp Fischer
  • Erik C Ralph
  • Hoi Ting Hau
  • Henry Man
  • Muhiadin Omar
  • Johan P Turkenburg
  • Stephen van Dien
  • Stephanie J Culler
  • Gideon Grogan
  • Bernhard Hauer


Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2017
Issue number3
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)275-281
Early online date9/01/17
Original languageEnglish


The asymmetric dehydration of alcohols is an important process for the direct synthesis of alkenes. We report the structure and substrate specificity of the bifunctional linalool dehydratase isomerase (LinD) from the bacterium Castellaniella defragrans that catalyzes in nature the hydration of β-myrcene to linalool and the subsequent isomerization to geraniol. Enzymatic kinetic resolutions of truncated and elongated aromatic and aliphatic tertiary alcohols (C5-C15) that contain a specific signature motif demonstrate the broad substrate specificity of LinD. The three-dimensional structure of LinD from Castellaniella defragrans revealed a pentamer with active sites at the protomer interfaces. Furthermore, the structure of LinD in complex with the product geraniol provides initial mechanistic insights into this bifunctional enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed active site amino acid residues essential for its dehydration and isomerization activity. These structural and mechanistic insights facilitate the development of hydrating catalysts, enriching the toolbox for novel bond-forming biocatalysis.

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