Pseudomonas putida esterase contains a GGG(A)X-motif confering activity for the kinetic resolution of tertiary alcohols

Jessica Rehdorf, Geoffrey A Behrens, Giang-Son Nguyen, Robert Kourist, Uwe T Bornscheuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An esterase from Pseudomonas putida JD1 (PPE) was successfully cloned, actively expressed in Escherichia coli, and characterized. It was discovered that PPE is more active towards short-chain esters, hydrolyzed δ-valerolactone, and ε-caprolactone and was most active at 37°C and pH 8. After purification to homogeneity by Ni-NTA-assisted affinity chromatography, the kinetic parameters K(M) and k(cat) were determined for p-nitrophenyl acetate and butyrate, respectively, showing better catalytic efficiency for hydrolysis of the acetate residue. Investigation of the protein sequence revealed not only the classical catalytic triad for carboxylesterases, additionally the interesting GGG(A)X-motif, which is associated to activity towards tertiary alcohols, was found. Indeed, enzymatic activity was shown for a set of different tertiary alcohols with enantioselectivities up to E = 20, suggesting PPE to be a promising biocatalyst. In addition, PPE also hydrolyzed 4-hydroxyphenyl acetate, the product of a Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase-catalyzed oxidation of 4-hydroxyacetophenone with a specific activity of 34.36 U/mg suggesting a physiological role in P. putida JD1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-26
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Alcohols
  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Biocatalysis
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Escherichia coli
  • Esterases
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology


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