Production of structurally diverse chiral amines via biocatalytic transamination is challenged by severe steric interference in a small active site pocket of ω-transaminase (ω-TA). Herein, we demonstrated that structure-guided remodeling of a large pocket by a single point mutation, instead of excavating the small pocket, afforded desirable alleviation of the steric constraint without deteriorating parental activities toward native substrates. Molecular modeling suggested that the L57 residue of the ω-TA from Ochrobactrum anthropi acted as a latch that forced bulky substrates to undergo steric interference with the small pocket. Removal of the latch by a L57A substitution allowed relocation of the small pocket and dramatically improved activities toward various arylalkylamines and alkylamines (e.g., 1100-fold increase in kcat/KM for α-propylbenzylamine). This approach may provide a facile strategy to broaden the substrate specificity of ω-TAs.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry