Chemoselective Hydrolysis of Nitriles by Rhodococcus rhodochrous NCIMB 11216

Norbert Klempier, Gerhild Harter, Anna De Raadt, Herfried Griengl*, Gerhart Brannegg**

Christian Doppler Laboratorium für Chirale Verbindungen am Institut für Organische Chemie der Technischen Universität Graz, Stremayrgasse 16, A-8010 Graz, Austria

**Institut für Biotechnologie der Technischen Universität Graz, Petersgasse 10, A-8010 Graz, Austria

Article history:

Received  April 17, 1996 
Accepted June 18, 1996

Key words:

nitril hydratase, nitrilase, chemoselective hydrolysis of nitriles, Rhodococcus rhodochrons


Tlie formation of acids from nitriles was achieved using resting cells from NCIMB 11216. The hydrolysis of the nitrite group could be accomplished in a selective manner in the presence of acetal and ester groups in the molecule. While the former functional moieties remain unaffected during the hydrolysis, the latter ones were concurrently hydrolysed. Attempts to suppress the esterase activity of this strain by modification of the growth media remained unsuccessful for aliphatic substrates.

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