Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao. 2022 Dec 25;38(12):4615-4629. doi: 10.13345/j.cjb.220229.
Transketolase (EC 188.8.131.52, TK) is a thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of a two-carbon hydroxyacetyl unit with reversible C-C bond cleavage and formation. It is widely used in the production of chemicals, drug precursors, and asymmetric synthesis by cascade enzyme catalysis. In this paper, the activity of transketolase TKTA from Escherichia coli K12 on non-phosphorylated substrates was enhanced through site-directed saturation mutation and combined mutation. On this basis, the synthesis of tartaric semialdehyde was explored. The results showed that the optimal reaction temperature and pH of TKTA_M (R358I/H461S/R520Q) were 32 ℃ and 7.0, respectively. The specific activity on d-glyceraldehyde was (6.57±0.14) U/mg, which was 9.25 times higher than that of the wild type ((0.71±0.02) U/mg). Based on the characterization of TKTA_M, tartaric acid semialdehyde was synthesized with 50 mmol/L 5-keto-d-gluconate and 50 mmol/L non-phosphorylated ethanolaldehyde. The final yield of tartaric acid semialdehyde was 3.71 g with a molar conversion rate of 55.34%. Hence, the results may facilitate the preparation of l-(+)-tartaric acid from biomass, and provide an example for transketolase-catalyzed non-phosphorylated substrates.