Kinetic insights into ϵ-caprolactone synthesis: Improvement of an enzymatic cascade reaction

Christian Scherkus, Sandy Schmidt, Uwe T. Bornscheuer, Harald Gröger, Selin Kara, Andreas Liese*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A computational approach for the simulation and prediction of a linear three-step enzymatic cascade for the synthesis of ϵ-caprolactone (ECL) coupling an alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), a cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO), and a lipase for the subsequent hydrolysis of ECL to 6-hydroxyhexanoic acid (6-HHA). A kinetic model was developed with an accuracy of prediction for a fed-batch mode of 37% for substrate cyclohexanol (CHL), 90% for ECL, and >99% for the final product 6-HHA. Due to a severe inhibition of the CHMO by CHL, a batch synthesis was shown to be less efficient than a fed-batch approach. In the fed-batch synthesis, full conversion of 100 mM CHL was 28% faster with an analytical yield of 98% compared to 49% in case of the batch synthesis. The lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis of ECL to 6-HHA circumvents the inhibition of the CHMO by ECL enabling a 24% higher product concentration of 6-HHA compared to ECL in case of the fed-batch synthesis without lipase. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1215–1221.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1221
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • computer simulation
  • enzymatic cascades
  • oxidoreductases
  • reaction engineering
  • ϵ-caprolactone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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